Learning in Generative Grammar: Representation, Intake and Update

Instructor(s): Jeffrey Lidz

This course examines explicit models of learning in the context of generative syntax. We explore the inferential processes that support first language acquisition by examining how children leverage their experience in acquiring a grammatical system. We focus on three components of a learner: (1) the space of possible grammatical representations, (2) mechanisms of sentence processing that shape the learner's encoding of their input, (3) statistical inference mechanisms that relate the input to the space of possible representations. We will explore how these three components interact in shaping the acquisition of syntax and semantics. Empirical domains will include the acquisition of phrase structure, binding, quantification, argument structure and filler-gap dependencies. The course will situate theories and findings in a broadly cross-linguistic context, using experimental data from English, French, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Russian and Tsez.

One course in graduate-level syntax

Course ID:

Tue & Fri 1:30-3:15

Classroom: KOBL 375

Areas of Linguistics:
Language Development and