How do theoretical constructs correspond to cognitive reality? How do human learners’ behavior and formalist modeling connect?
Go here to find out what we think about it!
Wittenberg, Eva & Ray Jackendoff (2018). Formalist Modeling and Psychological Reality. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 8:6, 787-791.
Hot off the presses! Eva has a new paper in Psychology of Learning and Motivation about the relationship between grammar and event construal.
The most fundamental function of language is to enable people to share mental models of their worlds. For a comprehender, the given mental model she is building will be shaped by the lexical items, and also by the syntactic structures, that a speaker is using. In this chapter, I review literature that unearths the mental models formed by comprehenders, based on the grammatical structure they encounter, as mutually informative for both linguistic theory and event and object cognition. This chapter uses the well-studied case of light verb constructions and reviews data from a range of experimental studies that investigated how linguistic structure shapes core aspects of mental models: the conceptualization of event participants, and temporal structure in events.
Another reason to learn German! Read Eva’s review of Andreas Trotzke’s introduction to the study of language evolution in Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft here.
The UCSD Language Comprehension Lab will be represented at the 28th Colloquium on Generative Grammar 2018 in Tarragona, Spain, together with a long list of lovely co-authors, talking about priming argument structure at the Workshop “Ars-Ling: Argument Structure and Linguistic Processing”:
Bjorn Lundquist, Martin Corley, Antonella Sorace, Mai Tungseth, Eva Wittenberg and Gillian Ramchand: Adventures in Structural Priming: The Search for Effects of Argument Structure.
On Tuesday, March 6th, Eva gave a San Diego Nerd Nite talk on The World of Words at 32 North Brewing Co. What can we say — tip-of-the-tongue states are simply better with beer. Here is what Eva talked about:
Words are curious creatures. Ever looked for one and couldn’t find it? Where exactly did you look? Did you look for its sound or its meaning? Or did you accidentally create a Frankenword by misunderestimating how hard it is to put the parts of the words together? These are signs that you are utterly normal … but maybe it’d be good to learn a thing or two about words. We’re going to do just that.
Josh Hartshorne (Boston College) and Eva Wittenberg just published their extended review and discussion of Radvansky & Zacks’ (2014) super interesting book “Event Cognition” in the journal Language and Cognition. Read the review here!
The Language Comprehension Lab will give a talk and present a poster at this year’s South Asian Languages Analysis Roundtable (SALA) in Konstanz, Germany.
“Peeling oranges in Hindi: Ergative case-marking as cue in real-time event construal”
Poster by Eva Wittenberg and Ashwini Vaidya
“Frequency regulates argument sharing effects in Hindi light verb constructions”
Talk by Ashwini Vaidya and Eva Wittenberg
The Language Comprehension Lab will be presenting two posters at this year’s CUNY:
“The mess reveals the system: People use top-down cues to resolve errors in contexts with highly random noise, but not with highly structured noise”
by Suhas Arehalli and Eva Wittenberg
“This is the structure that we wonder why anyone produces it: Resumptive pronouns in English hinder comprehension”
by Adam Morgan, Titus von der Malsburg, Victor S. Ferreira and Eva Wittenberg