Course descriptions

Course descriptions

Morphology/Morpho-syntactic theory

Lecturer: Artemis Alexiadou, University of Stuttgart

The overall goal of this course is to offer an in depth investigation of word structure. In sharp contrast to lexicalism, recent syntactic approaches to word formation, e.g., work couched within the framework of Distributed Morphology (DM), but also Borer (2005, 2013) and Svenonius (2012) hold that words are internally syntactically complex. We will discuss in detail the merits of this proposal by contrasting lexicalist and syntactic approaches to word formation as well as discussing differences among the aforementioned syntactic approaches to word formation.

Lecture topics

  • How many places for word formation?
  • DM and other exoskeletal approaches
  • Root suppletion

Syllabus

 

Philosophy of Science meets Linguistics

Lecturers: Frans Gregersen, University of Copenhagen & Terje Lohndal, NTNU

The aim of this course and the three lectures is to discuss issues from theory of science that bear upon our work as linguists of different brands. Classical material such as Popper, Kuhn and Lakatos will be covered and discussed from the point of view of linguistics. However, we will also focus on more 'humanistic' approaches to science, in which other methods than those applicable to the natural sciences are suitable. The apparent tension between the natural sciences and the humanities will be framed in the context of linguistics, and in the last class, we will discuss whether this tension is an illusion or not. The lecturers aim for an interactive class where the required readings constitute the basis for the lectures.

Lecture topics

  • The naturalistic perspective
  • The humanistic perspective
  • The linguistic perspective

Syllabus

 

Bilingual Processing

Lecturer: Professor Manuel Carreiras, Basque Centre on Cognition, Brain and Language

 

Lecture topics

  • Bilingualism and second language learning
  • Reading and dyslexia
  • Brain machanism for agreement

Syllabus

 

Acquisition of Syntax

Lecturer: Dr. Sonja Eisenbeiss, University of Essex

This course gives an overview of core issues in current research on children’s acquisition of syntax. We will first take a look at models of first language acquisition and discuss their assumptions about the role of children's input, children's general cognitive abilities and children's innate predispositions for language acquisition. Based on this overview, we will discuss empirical studies on three core questions in research on children’s acquisition of syntax. We will discuss different theoretical approaches to these questions and the methods that are used to answer them. We will analyse actual recordings of preschool children's speech from the CHILDES database of child language.

 

Lecture topics

  • How adult-like are children’s early grammatical representations?
    Do they involve the same grammatical categories (e.g. articles, auxiliaries, etc.) or are they mostly based on formulas like “I want X” or “That’s a X”?

  • How do children learn which verbs can appear in which constructions?
    For instance, why can you say “I told you a story”, but not “I said you a word” – and how can children learn that?

  • When and how do children learn when to choose which word order or construction?
    For instance, why do adults typically prefer the horse’s leg (vs. the leg of the horse), but the leg of the chair (vs. the chair’s leg)? Do children show the same preferences? What is the role of factors like animacy in children’s language processing?

Syllabus

 

Statistics

Lecturer: Melanie Bell, Anglia Ruskin University

The course assumes no previous experience of statistics or statistical software. It will provide a basic introduction to statistical principles and methods, with a view to building participants’ confidence in reading and understanding linguistic studies that use such methods. Topics covered will include: types of data, sampling, patterns of distribution, describing data, testing hypotheses, levels of significance, comparing groups for significant differences, and identifying significant relationships between variables. All examples will use data and problems related to linguistics, and will be presented using the statistical software R. Students will be expected to undertake set reading in support of the classes.

 

Lecture topics

  • Describing information
  • Taking samples and testing hypotheses
  • Comparing groups and investigating relationships

Syllabus

 

Internal website: https://www.ntnu.no/wiki/display/lingphil