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Linguistics Colloquium: Akira Omaki


October 7, 2016 @ 2:40 pm - 3:40 pm

Humanities 2, Room 259

Linguistic Colloquium: Akira Omaki

Akira Omaki will be speaking on Developing incrementality: Grammar and parsing of wh-dependencies in children

It is well established in the adult psycholinguistics literature that our comprehension is incremental: based on partial sentence input, the parser uses linguistic knowledge and multiple sources of information to assign interpretations. However, it has largely remained unknown how
such incremental processing mechanisms emerge during development, or how the immature
parsing mechanisms affect the course of grammar acquisition. In this talk, I will present recent
studies in my lab that explore these questions for wh-dependencies. In the first part of the talk, I
will discuss how the mis-adoption of wh-scope marking grammar in English-speaking children
(Thornton, 1990) could derive from incremental processing of wh-dependencies. I argue that
while this is theoretically feasible, the apparent scope-marking grammar may be a production-
specific phenomenon, and that it does not result from a mis-set parameter, at least in English. In
the second part of the talk, I will explore how incremental mechanisms for wh-dependency
processing develop through language experience. Our visual world eye-tracking studies show
that 5-year-old children do not complete wh-dependencies incrementally, but incremental
dependency processing emerges after production (but not comprehension) priming of such
dependencies. I will discuss implications of these findings for theories of language acquisition
and language processing.

The Linguistic department hosts colloquium talks by distinguished faculty from around the world.

Fall 2016

Oct 21 & Oct 22: CUSP (California Universities Semantics & Pragmatics)

Nov 18: Kie Zuraw, UCLA

Winter 2017

February 7: TBA

March TBD: LASC: Linguistics at Santa Cruz

Spring 2016

April 14: Junko Ito, UC Santa Cruz

April 28: Ashwini Deo, Yale

May 26: Susan Lin, UC Berkeley

May/June TBD: LURC: Linguistics Undergraduate Research Conference


October 7, 2016
2:40 pm - 3:40 pm
Event Tags:


Linguistics Department
(831) 459-2386


Humanities 2, Room 259