Learnability of syntax

Séminaire de recherche co-animé par Carlo Cecchetto et Giorgio Magri (SFL-Paris 8)
Reading group conducted by Carlo Cecchetto and Giorgio Magri (SFL-Paris 8)

Le séminaire se déroulera en anglais, se réunira six fois in Centre Pouchet (59 Rue Pouchet, 75017 Paris), mais il sera aussi accessible sur le site internet: https://rendez-vous.renater.fr/learnabilityofsyntax (de préférence avec Chrome). Le programme Renater permet l'interaction en direct.

This seminar is expected to meet in Centre Pouchet (59 Rue Pouchet, 75017 Paris) and will be conducted in English. All sessions will be accessible also via the internet at: https://rendez-vous.renater.fr/learnabilityofsyntax (preferably using Chrome). The program used to connect over Internet allows live interaction.

This reading group plans to discuss a broad range of studies on the learnability of syntax, which include formal learnability results, computer simulations, and experimental findings from language acquisition. We are interested in questions such as the following: Is negative evidence necessary for syntax to be learnable by an algorithm or by a child? Is probabilistic or statistical information needed to allow learnability? What are the implications of formal learnability for the architecture of syntax? Can learnability discriminate among alternative approaches to the existence and the nature of syntactic parameters?

We plan to have six meetings from November to January.

(Tentative) schedule:

[1] Tuesday November 7th, 14h30-16h30, room 159
E. M. Gold (1967) 'Language Identification in the Limit'. Information and Control: 10.447-474.
K. Johnson (2004) 'Gold's Theorem and Cognitive Science'. Philosophy of Science: 71.571-592.

[2] Tuesday November 21st, 14h30-16h30, room 159
E. Gibson and K. Wexler (1994) 'Triggers'. Linguistic Inquiry: 25:407-454.
R. C. Berwick and P. Niyogi (1996) 'Learning from Triggers'. Linguistic Inquiry: 27: 605-622.
P. Niyogi and R. C. Berwick (1996) 'A Language Learning Model for Finite Parameter Spaces'. Cognition: 61.161-193.

[3] Tuesday December 5th, 14h30-16h30, room 255
C. Yang (2002) Knowledge and Learning in Natural Language. Oxford University Press,

[4] Tuesday December 19th, 14h30-16h30, room 159
W. G. Sakas and J. D. Fodor (2012) 'Disambiguating Syntactic Triggers'. Language Acquisition: 19.83-143.

[5] Tuesday January 16th, 14h30-16h30, room 159
Readings: TBA

[6] Tuesday January 30th, 14h30-16h30, room 159
Readings: TBA