Monday, March 29, 2010

Conference: Understanding language: Forty years down the garden path

Organized by the university of the Basque Country / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

Conference site: Palacio Miramar - Donostia / San Sebastián

The conference takes as a starting point the famous garden path sentence The horse raced past the barn fell, appeared forty years ago in the seminal paper “The Cognitive Basis of Linguistics Structures” by Thomas G. Bever, one of the founders of the field of language processing. This meeting brings together some of the most outstanding researchers in the field, to discuss current frontiers in our understanding of language within cognitive science, and to assess the progress made during these four decades of research in language processing.


Monday, June 28th

9:00 Welcome and Presentation: Itziar Laka, Montserrat Sanz and Pello Salaburu

9:15-10:00 Mike Tanenhaus, University of Rochester
Introduction to the course. On the Cognitive Basis of Linguistic Structures: Themes that have endured.

SESSION 1. The crosslinguistic brain and language
Chair: Itziar Laka, University of the Basque Country

10:00-11:00 Jacques Mehler SISSA-ISAS CNS, Trieste, Italy.
Languages in the infant brain

11:00-12:00 Manuel Carreiras, Basque Center on Brain, Cognition and Language
Mechanisms of Agreement

12:00-12:30 BREAK

12:30-13:30 Inna Bornkessel, University of Mamberg, Germany
Neurotypology: Modelling cross-linguistic similarities and differences in the neurocognition of language comprehension

13:30-14:30 Yosef Grodzinsky McGuill University, USA
Changing perspectives on the functional role of some language regions in the brain

14:30-16:30 LUNCH

The Crosslinguistic Brain and Language
Theme discussant: Douglass Saddy
Participants: Tanenhaus, Mehler, Carreiras, Grodzinsky

Tuesday June 29th

SESSION 2. The evolution of language and language universals
Chair: Pello Salaburu, University of the Basque Country

10:00-11:00 Massimo Piattelli Palmarini, University of Arizona, USA
Comprehension, production and linearization in a new evolutionary perspective

11:00-12:00 Robert Berwick, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Three Models for the Description of Language Complexity

12:00-12:30 BREAK

12:30-13:30 Douglass Saddy, University of Reading, UK
Measuring language universals in the brain

13:30-14:30 Thomas Bever, University of Arizona, USA
Where do Linguistic Universals come from?

14:30-16:30 LUNCH

The Evolution of Language and Language Universals
Theme discussant: Colin Phillips
Participants: Piatelli-Palmarini, Berwick, Saddy, Stabler and Bever.

Wednesday, June 30th

SESSION 3. The relations between language production and perception
Chair of the session: José Manuel Igoa, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

9:00:10:00 Maryellen C. MacDonald, University of Wisconsin-Madison,USA
The Production Basis of Language Comprehension: Evidence from Relative Clauses

10:00-11:00 Gary Dell, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Implicit learning in the language production system is revealed in speech errors

11:00-12:00 Luciano Fadiga, Italian Institute of Technology, U. Ferrara, Italy
From Action to Language: Evidence and Speculations

12:00-12:30 BREAK

12:30-13:30 William Idsardi, University of Maryland, USA
Statistical generalizations in language behaviors

13:30-14:30 Edward Gibson, Massachusetts Institute of technology, USA
Language above the word: Quantitative investigations of syntactic representations and processes

14:30-16:30 LUNCH

The Relations between Language Production and Perception
Theme discussant: Thomas Bever
Participants: MacDonald, Dell, Fadiga, Kotz, Gibson

Thursday, July 1st

SESSION 4. The garden path today - comprehension models
Chair: Montserrat Sanz

9:00-10:00 Sonia Kotz, Max Planck Institute for Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Germany
Syntactic ambiguities: from linguistic structure to brain correlates

10:00-11:00 Michael Tanenhaus University of Rochester, USA
On the mechanisms underlying real-time language comprehension

11:00-12:00 Gerry Altmann, University of York, UK
Anticipating the garden path: the horse raced past the barn ate the cake

12:00-12:30 BREAK

12:30-13:30 Edward Stabler UCLA, USA
Syntax, semantics and pragmatics in incremental interpretation

13:30-14:30 Colin Phillips, University of Maryland, USA
Grammatical Illusions: Where you see them, where you don't

14:30-16:30 LUNCH

The Garden Path Today- Comprehension Models
Theme discussant: Yosef Grodzinsky
Participants: Kotz, Tanenhaus, Altmann, Idsardi, Phillips

17:30-18:30 Conclusions and predictions for future research
Thomas Bever University of Arizona
Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, University of Arizona

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