Tag Archives: Morphology
Agreement and Word Order in Minimalist Syntax

Vicki Carstens – University of Missouri
Course time: Tuesday/Thursday 3:30-5:20 pm
2330 Mason Hall

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The relation called Agree plays a very prominent role in Minimalist theory: it underlies phi-feature agreement, Case valuation, and syntactic movement. This course will explore in detail some of the rich morpho-syntactic phenomena connected with Agree and their implications for syntactic theory and Universal Grammar. Bantu languages will provide much but not all of the empirical content, which will also draw on English, German, Icelandic, and other languages TBA. Topics will likely include various inversion constructions, complementizer agreement, (transitive) expletive constructions, concord phenomena, Feature Inheritance theory, and issues in structural and inherent Case.

 This course will assume familiarity with Minimalist syntactic theory.

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Introduction to Morphophonology

Adam Albright – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Course time: Monday/Wednesday 11:00 am – 12:50 pm
2347 Mason Hall

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A survey of ways in which morphological structure influences and constrains phonological processes.  The first half of the course will focus on cases in which phonological processes are sensitive to morphological constituency or the existence of morphologically related forms, including morpheme structure constraints, cyclicity effects in derived words, and paradigm effects (uniformity, antihomophony) in inflected forms.  We will contrast two main approaches: cyclic evaluation of subparts of the word, and surface evaluation employing output-output correspondence constraints.  We then turn to processes that affect some morphemes but not others, including lexically specific allomorphy and affix-specific processes, comparing representational approaches (diacritics, floating features) with dual-route approaches (grammar + memorized exceptions).  A recurring theme throughout the course will be the predictions that different approaches make for acquisition and historical change; in addition, we will consider evidence from corpus studies and psycholinguistic experiments.

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Introduction to Morphosyntax

Karlos Arregi – University of Chicago
Course time: Monday/Wednesday 9:00-10:50 am
2407 Mason Hall

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This course is an introduction to the internal structure of words and its relation to the structure of phrases and sentences. The topics covered will include examination of the primitives of word structure, isomorphism between syntactic and morphological structure and departures from such isomorphism, and the interplay between syntax and morphology in determining morpheme order. The course will draw on data from typologically diverse languages, and will use the tools of current morphological theory to analyze phenomena such as agreement, cliticization, and argument-structure changing morphology.

Requirements: Students must have had an introductory-level course in linguistics. Some previous experience in syntax is recommended.

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Lexicography in Natural Language Processing

Orin Hargraves – Independent Scholar
Course time: Tuesday/Thursday 9:00-10:50 am
2325 Mason Hall

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Determining what words mean is the core skill and practice of lexicography. Determining what words mean is also a central challenge in natural language processing (NLP), where it is usually classed under the exercise of word sense disambiguation (WSD). Until the late 20th century, lexicography was dominated by scholars with backgrounds in philosophy, literature, and other humanistic disciplines, and the writing of dictionaries was based strongly on intuition, and only secondarily on induction from the study of examples of usage. Linguistics, in this same period, establish itself as a discipline with strong scientific credentials. With the development of corpora and other computational tools for processing text, dictionary makers recognized first the value, and soon the indispensability, of using evidence-based data to develop dictionary definitions, and this brought them increasingly into contact with computational linguists. The developers of computational linguistic tools and resources eventually turned their attention back to the dictionary and found that it was a document that could be exploited for use in the newly emerging fields of linguistic inquiry that computation made possible: NLP, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and machine translation. This course will explore the computational tools that lexicographers use today to write dictionaries, and the ways in which computational linguists use dictionaries in their pursuits. The aim is to give students an appreciation of the unexploited opportunities that dictionary databases offer to NLP, and of the challenges that stand in the way of their exploitation. Students will have an opportunity to explore the ways in which dictionaries may aid or hinder automatic WSD, and they will be encouraged to develop their own models for the use of dictionary databases in NLP.

Students must have native-speaker fluency in English. Thorough knowledge of Englsih grammar and morphology is an advantage, as is knowledge of the rudiments of NLP.

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Modeling and Measuring Inflectional Paradigms

Andrew Hippisley – University of Kentucky
Greg Stump – University of Kentucky
Raphael Finkel – University of Kentucky
Course time: Tuesday/Thursday 9:00-10:50 am
2333 Mason Hall

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The emergence of inferential-realizational approaches to inflection has led to a dramatic reversal of a perspective on morphology that dominated twentieth-century grammatical theory, where inflectional paradigms were regarded as an epiphenomenon of the combinatory properties of inflectional morphemes and were accorded no theoretical importance.   The new perspective suggests that paradigms are essential to the definition of a language’s inflectional morphology and that they constitute a significant domain of measurable typological variation.  The purpose of this course is to investigate both the universal principles of paradigm structure and the dimensions and degrees of cross-linguistic variation in paradigm structure.  Central to our method is the use of computational resources for the formal modeling and typological measurement of inflectional paradigms.  We begin by examining inferential-realizational theories of inflection and their place in the broader theoretical landscape. Numerous considerations decisively favor the inferential-realizational approach.  We exemplify this approach with Paradigm Function Morphology, a precise system of universal principles for the definition of inflectional systems.  We then consider two different approaches to modeling paradigm realization in inferential-realizational theories, the exponence-based approach, computationally illustrated through Network Morphology; and the implicative approach, computationally illustrated by the Principal-Parts Analyzer. Both approaches are then contrasted in the way they account for inflectional classes, and for the exponent-based account we introduce the concept of default inheritance hierarchy, for the implicative the notion of principal parts.  We move on to look at the diversity of paradigm structures, treating it as various departures from a canonical norm.  Two kinds of phenomena responsible for paradigm structure variation are syncretism and deponency, both covered in some detail.  Further variation is identified by considering the predictability of cells, and we consider the implicative structure of paradigms. We go on to relate this concept to the property of inflectional complexity, a point of comparison between languages’ morphological systems that lends itself to a typological treatment.  Throughout the course practical hands-on computational sessions will supplement and illustrate theoretical points made. An introduction to linguistics course is strongly advised, and knowledge of morphology is desirable.

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Structure and Evolution of the Lexicon

Janet Pierrehumbert – Northwestern University
Course time: Tuesday/Thursday 11:00 am – 12:50 pm
2353 Mason Hall

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This class will explore the basic principles that create and sustain the richness of the lexicon in human languages. We will consider how new words are created, how they are learned, and how they are replicated through social interactions in human communities. Empirical data will be drawn from classical sources, from language on the Internet, and from computer-based “games with a purpose”. Using concepts from research on population biology and social dynamics, we will also discuss mathematical approaches to modeling the life and death of words.

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The Morphosyntax of Native North American Languages

Marianne Mithun – University of California, Santa Barbara
Course time: Tuesday/Thursday 11:00 am – 12:50 pm
2336 Mason Hall

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This course will explore the Institute theme of universality and the complexities of linguistic variability by examining major morphological and syntactic features in languages indigenous to North America. The languages show considerable diversity among themselves, comprising well over 50 distinct families. At the same time, we find a number of areal traits that were apparently spread through contact. Many of the languages exhibit highly developed structures that are relatively rare or less developed elsewhere. A number show elaborate morphological structure, which has implications for syntactic structure. After an overview of traditional and current issues in morphological and syntactic typology, we will move to more specific topics. Among them will be functional differences between roots and affixes; compounding, noun incorporation, and bipartite stem structures; certain elaborately developed sets of distinctions in the domains such as space, means and manner, evidentiality, and reality status; relations between morphologically-defined and syntactically-defined lexical categories; head versus dependent marking and differences that arise from the locus of marking; pronouns and agreement; polysynthesis and ‘configurationality’; cross-linguistic differences in the core/oblique distinction; alternative alignment patterns and their combinations; the variable strength of syntactic relations between predicates and lexical arguments; affix order and constituent order; and issues in clause combining, including ‘switch-reference’, logophoricity, and continua of finiteness.

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