What is Cognitive Science

On the Linguistic and Cognitive Status of the Lexical/Functional

Dr. Jane Grimshaw

Thursday, September 18, 2003, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

Linguistics, Rutgers University

Copy to My Calendar (iCal) Download as iCal file
 

September 18, 2003 at 12:00 p.m.

Psychology, Room 101, Busch Campus

Dr. Jane Grimshaw

Linguistics, Rutgers University

On the Linguistic and Cognitive Status of the Lexical/Functional

One of the earliest results of psycholinguistic research within the
context of modern theoretical linguistics, is that there is an important
distinction between "content" words such as nouns, verbs and adjectives
and "function" words such as determiners and complementizers.  They are
affected differently in aphasia,  and function words are frequently
absent from speech of young children.  This distinction has proved to be
of fundamental importance in governing the organization of linguistic
structure.  We now know that on top of each lexical/content word there
is a sometimes elaborate structure of functional elements, all arranged
in a head-complement relationship, which is largely constant
cross-linguistically.   This paper lays out some of the evidence for
this conclusion, and highlights the puzzle that lies behind it:  while
the lexical/functional distinction is highly motivated, a principled
theory of the distinction has proved elusive.  Why?

Dr. Jane Grimshaw


"What is Cognitive Science?"

This lunchtime talks series is designed to introduce the University community to issues in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science is one the the few fields where modern developments in computer science and artificial intelligence promise to shed light on classical problems in psychology and the philosophy of the mind. Ancient questions of how we see the world, understand language, and reason, and questions such as 'how a material system can know about the outside world', are being explored with the powerful new conceptual prosthetics of computer modeling.

The talks in this lunchtime lecture series are every Thursday during the Fall semester from ** 12:00-1:00 ** in the Psychology Building, Room 101 on  Busch Campus.

Note: Talks are also announced by email (with reminders sent the day of the talk) to people who have requested to be placed on our announce list. If you would like to be added to our announce list, please email the Business Office (business_manager@ruccs.rutgers.edu).