Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Podcast: WNYC Radiolab on Words

The August 9 edition of WNYC Radiolab, which you can find here, has a linguistic theme, and features Elizabeth Spelke. The website summarizes the show as follows:

"It’s almost impossible to imagine a world without words. But in this hour of Radiolab, we try to do just that. We speak to a woman who taught a 27-year-old man the first words of his life, and we hear a firsthand account of what it feels like to have the language center of your brain wiped out by a stroke."

There are more links to earlier language-related episodes and some short videos on that same page.

Conference: GLOW 34

Conference: GLOW 34
April 27 - May 1, 2011
Universität Wien

Topic: It is uncontroversial that language has both a sound and a meaning component. In addition to the latter two, a narrow syntactic component is postulated by linguists. But is narrow syntax a real, empirically identifiable subcomponent of the human ability to use language in the most general sense, or is it merely an analytical artifact? Are there principled grounds for separating ”Merge” from prosody, implicature, presupposition, parsing, functional structure, the lexicon, morphology, phonology, stylistic movement, and binding theory? While there are various conceptual lines of reasoning to adopt a position on these issues, this position must always be backed up by empirical evidence. Are there mechanisms in the sound and meaning components that achieve the same results as Merge? And, if so, do they require an extra level of quasi-syntactic processes to achieve them? What do we know about how narrow syntax interfaces with these other systems? Abstracts relating to these questions but not limited to them are invited for presentation at GLOW34. The questions should not only be addressed from the viewpoint of syntax, or current syntactic theories, but should also be addressed from within phonology, morphology, semantics and pragmatics, vis-a-vis-syntax, as well as by psycho-linguistics.

Call for papers (due Nov. 1) here.