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lektsii Toma Bever'a

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  • Vera Podlesskaya
    Ìîñêîâñêèå ëåêöèè èçâåñòíîãî àìåðèêàíñêîãî ïñèõîëèíãâèñòà Òîìàñà Áåâåðà ñîñòîÿòñÿ 9
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2005
      Московские лекции известного американского психолингвиста Томаса
      Бевера состоятся 9 ноября в 16:00 в РГГУ (ауд 206, главного здания) и
      10 ноября в 16:55 в МГУ на ОТиПЛе. Напоминаем, что для прохода в РГГУ
      нужен пропуск, для получения коего просим обращаться в Центр
      типологии (973-47-55, Вера Мальцева).

      Аннотации лекций см.ниже.

      Two Lectures on the Psychology of Language.
      Thomas G. Bever
      University of Arizona

      The two talks are loosely connected by a common model of language
      behavior on which acquisition, comprehension and production all integrate
      local, discourse and statistical information with structural computations.
      The first lecture reviews the history of 20th century psychology of language
      primarily in America, including the last seven decades of structural linguistics
      and associated psycholinguistics: it emphasizes the bilateral interaction
      between theories of language structure and theories of language behavior,
      and presents several examples of language universals which can be
      explained as having a perceptual/cognitive basis.
      The second lecture focuses more directly on a bi-phasic comprehension
      model and evidence for it, with special attention to evidence that verb event
      structure is accessed very early in sentence comprehension. Each lecture
      is self-contained, and can be understood without the other.

      The past and present in psycholinguistics (RGGU)

      Psychological research and theory can contribute to understanding language: (1) It specifies how
      language acquisition and behavior works in individuals. (2) It clarifies which properties of language
      are unique and which reflect other mental structures. (3) It clarifies which properties of cognition
      are unique and which derive from the existence of language in mind .
      In the 1950s, contact with Jakobson and his student, Halle, convinced Chomsky to give up his own
      behaviorism: he enriched the Transformational/ Generative model, now interpreted as a rationalist
      mental model of linguistic knowledge. G. Miller started research on the “Psychological Reality of
      Transformational Grammar,” a new rationalist/nativist . This phase lasted for 15 years – an exciting
      period in which it seemed that linguistic theory could be directly confirmed by psychological data.
      But there were several problems. First, real behavior is a blend of structural knowledge with
      acquired habits. Second, there was no explanation of how or why innate knowledge becomes
      reformed in each individual child into rules of hiser language. Third, Generative Syntactic Theory
      kept changing. Nonetheless, there are several consistent ideas across all models: sentences have
      computational derivations. This sets a conundrum: (1) Sentences are horizontal (unfold in time)
      (2)Derivations are computationally vertical (span entire sentence structures).
      An analysis by synthesis (AxS) model of language resolves this puzzle: a statistical pattern-based
      phase accounts for the horizontal aspect of sentences, a computational phase accounts for
      the derivational structure. Children acquire linguistic constructions in such phases: they alternate
      between relying on computational structures and statistical generalizations, which give the child
      a way to understand sentences for which it does not yet have a computational analysis.
      This model has important consequences for language universals. (1) it offers an explanation
      of the “derivational opacity” constraint - a given representational level cannot be inferred
      from a more superficial one. Discovering “derivations” is characteristic of natural problem solving
      in humans: On this view, derivations present puzzles, FUN TO LEARN. (2) A related prediction
      is that every language must have a “canonical sentence form”, to provide a basis for the child’s
      learning statistical generalizations. We can state this as the “Canonical Form Constraint” (CFC):
      To be learnable, languages must have a canonical statistically dominant form.
      The model may also apply to a structural syntactic universal – the Extended Projection Principle
      (EPP) (every sentence has a “subject”): the CFC requires every sentence to have at least one
      argument, with “subject” as default. Thus EPP is not a syntactic universal, but a behavioral

      KOGO? (MGU)

      These ideas are examples of how psychological theory can offer an explanation of particular
      universal properties of attested languages. The potential virtue of such explanations is that
      they narrow the focus of our search for “true” innate linguistic universals. There is evidence
      that the AxS system is typical of human (and possibly animal) perception. Hence, its application
      to language offers an explanation for certain linguistic properties, as opposed to the reverse.
      It will take more information and more thought to resolve these puzzles. The overarching motive
      in this paper has been to outline perspectives on the possible explanatory relations between
      psychological and linguistic research.
      We understand everything twice – The Comprehension role of Verb Event Structure
      Language comprehension presents a puzzle: discourses are serial in time, but their
      structure and meaning are timeless mental objects. A sentence is immediately understood
      as it is heard serially, but understanding it involves pairing local superficial information with
      an internal representation of great complexity. We have suggested that listeners actually
      integrate the two kinds of knowledge in two phases of an analysis-by-synthesis framework:
      an initial preliminary assignment of meaning is based on local information and statistical
      strategies; a subsequent confirmation of the meaning is based on a complete assignment
      of syntactic and semantic structures. That is, we understand everything twice. The
      reason we do not normally notice this is that the second representation “absorbs” the initial
      representation, and we perceive it as a unified and vivid mental object.
      This model makes a number of surprising predictions – notably, that full syntax is assigned late,
      and certain abstract semantic structures are assigned early. A range of existing experimental facts
      support that prediction: these include probe studies showing that NounPhrase trace is accessed
      after WH trace; ERP studies showing that local phrase violations are detected quickly, together
      with semantic violations, but global syntax violations are detected slowly.
      A new prediction of the model is that lexically based semantic structures should be accessed early
      in processing. In the experimental section of this talk, I concentrate on a new series of studies
      which demonstrate the immediate perception of verb event structure (AktionsArt): in particular,
      we show that verb telicity (having a goal, or specific event) is immediately accessed in the initial
      phase of comprehension, prior to accessing verb syntactic subcategorization information.
      The studies utilize the “reduced relative clause” effect to probe for the immediate activation
      of telicity. The paradigm is:
      Telic, transitive: arrested the soldier (who was) arrested by the sailor protested
      Atelic, transitive: chased the soldier (who was) chased by the sailor protested
      Telic, potentially intransitive: tripped the soldier (who was) tripped by the sailor protested
      Atelic, potentially intransitive: fought the soldier (who was) fought by the sailor protested
      Reduced relative clauses have a common mis-parse when the initial portion of the sentence
      could be analyzed as a simple declarative sentence. This is often exemplified in the sentence:
      “The horse raced past the barn fell”, in which “the horse raced past the barn” is mis-parsed
      as a main clause with “the horse” serving as agent rather than patient. Telicity and transitivity
      both signal that a patient is semantically/syntactically required. This will tend to reduce the
      misparse of the initial portion of reduced relatives as a simple active construction. Thus, the
      difference in processing complexity between the unreduced relative (with the phrase “who was”)
      and the reduced relative clause, indicates whether telicity or transitivity has been accessed from the
      initial N+verb sequence: the smaller the difference, the greater evidence for accessing
      We have re-analyzed previous studies of self-paced reading, as well as our own studies; we have
      also run a study with eye-movement recording, and also an auditory complexity study. All studies
      are consistent with an early access of telicity, certainly by the “by phrase”: the effect of transitivity
      is later, at the main verb. These results are consistent with the AxS model, again reflecting the idea
      that locally available semantic information is accessed prior to syntactic structures.
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