What is Cognitive Science
Linguistic side effects
Dr. (Ken) Chung-Chieh Shan
Thursday, October 12, 2006, 12:00pm - 07:00pm
Rutgers University, Department of Computer Science and Center For Cognitive Science
How does the meaning of an utterance determine its effects on thediscourse and its participants? I study this question using tools from programming-language theory. In particular, how do utterances interact with each other in context? For example, pronouns in natural languages and variable references in programming languages both retrieve values from the context. In general, _computational side effects_ in programming languages and _apparently noncompositional phenomena_ in natural languages both let expressions access their contexts. This link stresses the dynamic, _operational_ view on meaning. For example, the notion of evaluation order unifies an unprecedented variety of linguistic generalizations: crossover in anaphora, superiority in questions, and ordering effects in polarity licensing and quantifier scope.
"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.
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