The Norwegian Summer Institute on Language and Mind 2018

Details coming later in 2017. Watch this space.

See below for details of the summer institute which took place in August 2017.

Thank you to all participants

Dear friends and colleagues,
We’d like to thank you all very much again for having taken time in your busy schedules to come to Oslo and for making the summer institute such a success. We very much appreciate the thought and effort that you put in and the wonderful collaborative atmosphere that you helped us to develop.

The Norwegian Summer Institute on Language and Mind

summer institute homepage | lecture programme | location | accommodation | food and drink | sights

A summer course in linguistics and philosophy in Norway.
Year two, 2017

Tuesday 1st August (9 am) – Friday 11th August (1 pm), 2017

Seminar room 1 (‘Undervisningsrom 1’), Sophus Bugges hus (i.e. The Sophus Bugge Building)
University of Oslo, Blindern campus

Seminar room 1 is on the ground floor, immediately to the right of the main entrance.

Lecturers

Nicholas Allott (University of Oslo)
Janet Dean Fodor (City University of New York)
Steven Gross (Johns Hopkins)
Carsten Hansen (University of Oslo)
Dave Kush (NTNU, Trondheim)
Terje Lohndal (NTNU, Trondheim, & UiT The Arctic University of Norway)
Laurence T. Maloney (New York University)
Maria Olkkonen (Durham University)
Lisa Pearl (UC Irvine)
Colin Phillips (University of Maryland at College Park)
Georges Rey (University of Maryland at College Park)

Theme for the institute in 2017: Cognition and Computation

The notion of a “computational/representational” account of the mind is fundamental to work in cognitive science and linguistics. The institute will focus on such an account in three different areas: linguistic variation and its acquisition, perception and mental representation, and computational explanations in general in linguistics and cognitive science. A goal will be to try to make clear just whether the component terms, “computation” and “representation,” mean the same thing in the three areas.

Specific issues will include: How do children learn languages and how can this be modelled in computational terms in such a way that it also accommodates variation between languages? Does computation involve a commitment to actual processes in the brain and to symbols actually representing things; and if so, what “things”? What do findings in psycholinguistics and the psychology of perception tell us about the nature of computation? In what ways are the processes, representations and represented things “psychologically real”?

The teaching

Note that lectures start at 9.30am on Tuesday 1st August and finish at 1pm on Friday 11th August.
See below for timetable.

Classes are from Tuesday – Saturday and then Monday – Friday.

The first day will have introductory lectures to get everyone up to speed with the relevant parts of linguistics, philosophy and psychology.

For the rest of the course, days will include 90 minute classes on each of the three "strands" (see below). Teaching will be discursive, with plenty of time for questions and answers in each class.

There will also be two round-table discussion sessions, where we will discuss issues across the strands, guided by student questions.

Diploma of attendance and ECTS credits.

Students who want can get ECTS credits for participation: either 5 or 10 credits.

Requirements for a diploma of attendance: Requirements for 5 ECTS: Requirements for 10 ECTS:

Lecture strands

Linguistic variation and its acquisition

Topics to include: Universal Grammar and innateness, syntactic theory and linguistic variation; acquisition and sentence processing mechanisms, Bayesian approaches to language acquisition, ways to incorporate variation into models of acquisition and processing.

Perception and mental representation

Topics to include: How do we gain knowledge about the world from our sensory systems? Bayesian modeling of perception, vision as computation

Computational explanations in linguistics and cognitive science

Topics to include: grammar and psychological reality, the use of syntactic inuitions as evidence, parsing, the alleged resurrection of the theory of derivational complexity, the role of heuristics in mental computation, and foundational questions about representational/computational theories of cognition

Lecture schedule

(Red text indicates changes made since the timetable was first issued.)

Tuesday, August 1st

09:30-11:00
Self-introductions:
all students and faculty will briefly introduce themselves and their academic background. No slides allowed, at most 2 mins per person

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
Foundation class:
Linguistics · Lohndal, Allott

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00
Foundation class:
Philosophy · Hansen, Rey

Wednesday, August 2nd

09:30-11:00
STRAND 1
Lohndal · Acquiring linguistic variation: Framing the problem

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 2
Gross · Probabilistic representations and perceptual consciousness

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00
STRAND 3
Kush/Phillips · Real-time Grammatical Computation: Encoding and Memory Access: Lecture 1

Thursday, August 3rd

09:30-11:00
STRAND 1
Pearl · Introduction to computational models of language acquisition

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 2
Gross · Do we perceive meaning?

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00
STRAND 3
Kush/Phillips · Real-time Grammatical Computation: Encoding and Memory Access: Lecture 2

Friday, August 4th

09:30-11:00
STRAND 1
Pearl · Computational models of syntactic acquisition

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 2
Olkkonen · Visual perception: Understanding the nature of the problem

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00
ROUND-TABLE

Saturday, August 5th

09:30-11:00
STRAND 1
Pearl · Bayesian inference and linguistic parameters

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 2
Olkkonen · Is perception cognitively penetrable? The case of memory color

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00
STRAND 3
Gross · What are linguistic intuitions for?

Sunday, August 6th

REST DAY

Monday, August 7th

09:30-11:00
STRAND 3
Rey · Why Linguistics Needs a Computational/Representational Theory

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 2
Maloney · Bayesian Decision Theory as a Framework for Perception, Action and Cognition: 1. Decision under risk and the planning of movement

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00
STRAND 1
Fodor · Parsing and prosody

16:30-18:00
STUDENT TALKS
Pan · Natural logic: Rethinking reasoning in natural language
Wilson · Belief propagation and visual imagery

Tuesday, August 8th

09:30-11:00
STRAND 3
Kush/Phillips · Real-time Grammatical Computation: Encoding and Memory Access: Lecture 3

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 2
Olkkonen · Testing a probabilistic theory of color perception

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00

STRAND 1
Fodor · Parsing and learning

Wednesday, August 9th

09:30-11:00
STRAND 1
Rey · Grades of Nativism

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 2
Maloney · Bayesian Decision Theory as a Framework for Perception, Action and Cognition: 2.The representation of uncertainty

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00
STRAND 3
Kush/Phillips · Real-time Grammatical Computation: Encoding and Memory Access: Lecture 4

Thursday, August 10th

09:30-11:00
STRAND 3
Allott · Heuristics in mental processing, with pragmatics as a case study

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 2
Maloney · Bayesian Decision Theory as a Framework for Perception, Action and Cognition: 3.Metacognition and the cost of uncertainty

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00
STRAND 1
Fodor · Parsing and the minimalist program

Friday, August 11th

09:30-11:00
STRAND 3
Kush/Phillips · Real-time Grammatical Computation: Encoding and Memory Access: Lecture 5

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
ROUND-TABLE

(N.B. Red text indicates changes made since the timetable was first issued.)