Janet E. Connor
How can we study Sociolinguistics in cities?
Examining researcher and speaker perspectives on linguistic differentiation and convergence
See Dr. Connor's abstract
Since William Labov’s studies in New York City were instrumental in the creation of the field of variationist sociolinguistics, it is perhaps no surprise that variationism and urban sociolinguistics often go hand-in-hand. Sociolinguists studying cities tend to ask how variables either correlate to demographic categories or become resources for speakers to differentiate themselves. Yet they only rarely consider how Labov’s own perspective on the relationship between language and American citizenship in the mid-1960s influenced the very creation of variationist sociolinguistics. Even fewer stop to question if differentiation is always the best lens through which to consider urban linguistic practices.
Aone van Engelenhoven
Malay minimalism in verbal art
Towards a cognitive poetic approach of allusion in Malay
See Dr. van Engelenhoven's abstract
Palmer, Gary B., 1996, Toward a Theory of Cultural Linguistics, Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
Towards automatic detection of syntactic difference
See Dr. Kroon's abstract
Theoretical Linguistics today
See Prof. Zwart's abstract
The replication crisis in infancy research
Examples and initiatives to reap robust results
See Prof. Levelt's abstract
The replication crisis in psychology (Open Science Collaboration 2015) had an impact on infancy research too, and for good reasons; infant studies are notoriously underpowered, due to small sample sizes in combination with noisy data. This is not a good thing, because data are the fundament of our knowledge and the theories we build and if the data turn out to be questionable our theories collapse like card houses! I will illustrate the replication crisis in infancy research with two studies that have been performed in the Dutch babylabs (Geambaʂu, Spit et al., 2022; Spit, Geambaʂu et al., in revision) and discuss initiatives that have been taken to turn the tide and make infancy research great again
Chomsky and Wittgenstein on ordinary and scientific concepts
See Dr. Dobler's abstract
In this talk I argue that there are some interesting parallels between Chomsky’s and Wittgenstein’s views on concepts and philosophical methodology. Appealing to Chomsky’s distinction between common-sense and artificially constructed concepts, I show that Wittgenstein and Chomsky agree that many philosophical concepts are technical concepts, generated through the metaphysical inflation of everyday concepts in search for their ‘true’ essences. I contrast Wittgenstein’s methodology to Scharp’s (2020) metaphysically inflated version of conceptual engineering.
Semantics and Pragmatics in the age of deep learning
See Dr. Westera's abstract
As we are sometimes prone to think, the meanings of words and sentences can be described (though incompletely, no doubt) with the help of logic. On the other hand, what speakers do with words and sentences, i.e., the realm of speech acts and the like, is often deemed less amenable to a logical treatment. Indeed, Grice's influential paper 'Logic and conversation', in some respects the birthplace of pragmatics as we know it, was primarily an attempt to defend formal semantics against claims that natural language wasn't as logical as it seemed to presume. Grice suggested that the illogical parts (such as 'some' implying 'not all', contrary to the quantifiers of predicate logic) could at least in some cases be an illusion: pragmatics would be tainting our judgments about the underlying, logical semantics. In this talk I wish to invert this picture: if anything, it is pragmatics that is logical, compositional, and so on, while semantics is a fuzzy mess. This inversion isn't new, but its precedent in the literature is easily overlooked, drowned out by the successes of formal semantics. And yet, I will argue that it enables a more fruitful perspective on language and meaning, and on the relation between formal semantics and more cognitive subfields (e.g., psycholinguistics, language acquisition), as well as between formal semantics and more data-driven approaches (e.g., distributional semantics and deep learning).