Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems

CCNCS Seminar Details

2D syntax and the productivity issue

Speaker: Dr John Slack
Date/Time: Wednesday 23 March 2011, 4.15pm
Location: KLT4

Abstract

Starting from Chomsky's (1995, 2008) most recent theoretical framework, Minimalism, the talk argues that syntactic composition generates two dimensional objects as a consequence of the finite nature of the interfaces with both the sound and meaning systems. Both interfaces require one dimensional inputs and morpho-syntax arises from the need to preserve both dimensions of narrow syntax under linearization. The talk draws out some of the key implications of this 2D?1D framework, with particular reference to how the problem of linguistic productivity might be overcome in connectionist language networks exemplified by Elman's Simple Recurrent Networks (1993, 2010). The talk also points to the underlying nature of polysynthetic languages such as Mohawk and briefly considers the theoretical remnants of Universal Grammar.


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Centre for Cognitive Science and Cognitive Systems, School of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NP

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