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Colin Phillips: “Speaking, understanding, and the architecture of language”

February 5, 2016 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm  |  Stevenson Fireside Lounge


We speak and understand the same language, but it’s generally assumed that language production and comprehension are subserved by separate cognitive systems. So they must presumably draw on a third, task-neutral cognitive system (“grammar”). So comprehension-production differences are a thorn in the side of anybody who might want to collapse grammar and language processing mechanisms (i.e., me!). In this talk I will show how the same underlying mechanism can have rather different surface effects in speaking and understanding. In production, I will discuss studies in English and Japanese that show syntactically constrained look-ahead in sentence planning, and that show that syntactic category acts as a strong filter on lexical access. In comprehension, I will discuss ERP studies in English, Mandarin, and Japanese that illustrate surprisingly “dumb” word prediction mechanisms. These predictive mechanisms are nevertheless subject to the same category constraint observed in sentence production, as reflected in different effects of case marker manipulation.

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

Fall 2015
October 9th: Keith Johnson, UC Berkeley
October 16th: Heidi Harley, University of Arizona
October 30th: Ivano Caponigro, UC San Diego
November 20th: Elliott Moreton, University of North Carolina

Winter 2016
January 15th: Sharon Inkelas, UC Berkeley
February 5th: Colin Phillips, University of Maryland
February 6th: N. Goodman, Stanford University and A. Kehler, UC San Diego
March 5th: Linguistics Conference at Santa Cruz Conference

Spring 2016
April 15th: Sabine Iatridou, MIT
April 29th: Paul Kiparsky, Stanford University
May 6, 7, 8: Semantics of Under-Represented Languages in the Americas 9
May 20th: Kyle Johnson, University of Massachusetts
May 27th/June 3rd (TBA): Linguistics Undergraduate Research Conference


February 5, 2016
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Stevenson Fireside Lounge
Humanites 1 University of California, Santa Cruz Cowell College
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
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Linguistics Department
(831) 459-2386
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