Linguistics & Cognitive Science

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1 Linguistics & Cognitive Science * History of Cognitive Science Fall term 2000 formal account of pivotal role of linguistics in the development of cognitive science relation to psychology, AI, & philosophy Chomsky linguistic chronology 1 2 Classical approaches to studying Greek/Latin rhetoric Panini (350 B.C.) Hindi grammarian Korean linguistically-sophisticated writing system (presumes similarly sophisticated understanding of sounds in ) Philology the study of written records, their origin and authenticity, and determination of their meaning 3 4 William Jones (1786) relationship between Greek/Latin and Sanskrit, pointing to a common origin = Indo-European brother: broeder [Dutch], Bruder [German], phrater [Greek], brat [Russian], brathair [Irish], & bhratar [Sanskrit] Jakob Grimm ( ) Grimm s Law ( ): law of phonetic change dealing with transition from Indo-European to Germanic s e.g., /p/ in Latin piscis /f/ in English fish 5 6

2 Neo-grammarians (1860s-1870s) Ferdinand Saussure ( ) dissatisfaction with adequacy of rules relating s; need to state exceptions in terms of rules hypotheses about could be derived from the physical characteristics of utterances looked to psychological techniques (e.g., psychophysics) to understand how works 7 Swiss linguist & Sansrkit scholar established structural linguistics, emphasizing the arbitrary relationship of the linguistic sign to that which it signifies diachronic vs. synchronic linguistics: study of change vs. study of at one moment in time 8 Saussure Prague School (1920s-1930s) langue idealized ( ) parole as produced by users of (actual utterances) phonological analysis features could be characterized by a small set of binary feature oppositions langue = proper focus of ; precursor to present views about autonomy of linguistics permitted generalizations about phonological relationships that could not easily be stated using alternative structuralist models 9 10 Prague School Prague School enabled development of evaluation system for phonological analysis optimal analysis should provide smallest number of features to describe each phoneme phonemic features possess psychological reality (contrast w/ previous treatments of phonemic analysis in which features were simply notational conveniences) 11 application of analysis developed for phonology to other aspects of Roman Jakobson Nikolay Troubetskoy 12

3 Jakobson ( ) development / aphasia application of approach to dealing with phonological knowledge to other aspects of, such as syntax marked vs. unmarked features (e.g., unvoiced vs. voiced) influence on other disciplines (e.g., anthropology) Linguistics in the U.S what was the reason for the development of linguistics in the U.S. during this period? value of linguistics in foreign service training adoption of scientific aura Structuralism Sapir Bloomfield Hockett Edward Sapir ( ) Sapir-Whorf hypothesis determines thought Leonard Bloomfield ( ) preeminent linguist in U.S. during 1920 s-1940 s influenced by behaviourism in psychology anti-mentalism founded LSA; author of standard text in linguistics (Language, 1933) Charles Hockett design features of abstract relationship between sound & meaning cultural transmission stalwart defender of structuralism 17 18

4 Linguistics in the cognitive era Noam Chomsky (1928-) Chomsky s influence preeminent linguist in modern era influential agree / disagree syntax autonomy of rationalism Chomsky s books Syntactic structures (1957) Aspects of theory of syntax (1965) Sound pattern of English (1968) w/ Morris Halle Lectures on government & binding (1981) Syntactic structures consideration of three ways to deal with syntax finite state grammar phrase structure grammar generative transformational grammar Finite state grammar Markov model that uses transitional probabilities to assign likelihood of a given word being used after any other word; network of states associated by probabilities. Can this grammar generate only grammatical sentences? 23 THE OLD MEN MAN the old man comes the old old man comes the old old old man comes the old men came the old old men came the old old old men came COMES CAME 24

5 Phrase structure grammar incorporates rewrite rules; however, surface structure not always produced Generative transformational grammar PSG + transformations only generative transformational grammar capable of accommodating the facts of defines rules that can generate the infinite number of grammatical (wellformed) sentences possible in a Generative transformational grammar rationalist assumption that deep structure underlies a, and that a similar deep structure underlies all s transformational grammar seeks to identify rules (transformations) that govern relations between parts of a sentence; fundamental structure Review of Verbal behaviour (1958) attack of Skinner s knowledge of attack on behaviouristic accounts of acquisition & use poverty of stimulus argument Performance & competence (1965) parallel to langue & parole competence = idealized linguistic knowledge what every native speaker / hearer of a knows about their object of study in linguistics performance = realization of linguistic knowledge incorporates limitations imposed on production & perception Universal grammar (UG) underlying characteristics of common to all s UG is present as a result of biological necessity grammar vs. Grammar (U.G.) by information processing system 29 30

6 Language acquisition device(lad) hypothetical innate mental mechanism that makes acquisition possible attend to in environment make hypotheses derive grammar parameter setting Why was the Chomskian approach so successful? autonomy of linguistics at MIT association with Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT ($$) vacuum created by pre-chomskian approaches Post-Chomsky government binding theory Lexical-functional grammar Relation of other fields to linguistics psychology AI philosophy Linguistics & psychology psychology of psycholinguistics DTC (derivational theory of complexity) attempt to determine the psychological reality of linguistic theory (George Miller; Merril Garrett, Thomas Bever, Jacques Mehler) Linguistics & AI more limited influence than in psychology script theory replaced formal linguistic approaches 35 36

7 Linguistics & philosophy modularity relative lack of attention to semantics in linguistics innate ideas 37

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