The Norwegian Summer Institute on Language and Mind

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A summer course in linguistics and philosophy in Norway

Tuesday 31st July (9 am) – Friday 10th August (1 pm), 2018
University of Oslo, Blindern campus; Seminar room 1 (‘Undervisningsrom 1’), Sophus Bugges building

Lecturers

David Adger (Queen Mary)
Nicholas Allott (University of Oslo)
Rosa Cao (Stanford University)
Ingrid Lossius Falkum (University of Oslo)
Randy Gallistel (Rutgers University)
Carsten Hansen (University of Oslo)
Terje Lohndal (NTNU, Trondheim, & UiT The Arctic University of Norway)
Ira Noveck (CNRS/Institut des sciences cognitives - Marc Jeannerod)
Liina Pylkkanen (New York University)
Georges Rey (University of Maryland at College Park)
Deirdre Wilson (UCL)

Theme for the institute in 2018: Cognition, representation and the mind/brain

Work in cognitive science and linguistics relies on the idea that the mind/brain performs computations over representations. This year we focus specifically on the relation of proposed computations regarding syntax and the pragmatics of utterance intepretation to experimental and neurological research, addressing especially issues of memory and economy. This will raise more general issues of what constraints computational and neurological theories place on each other, as well as whether there a single notion of representation employed in such computational accounts of, e.g. navigation and vision, where there’s often an independent external reality, and grammar and language, where there may not be one. The lectures are correspondingly divided into three different strands: syntax and the brain, theoretical and experimental pragmatics, and foundational questions about computational/representation theories of cognition.

The teaching

Note that lectures start at 9.30am on Tuesday 31st July and finish at 1pm on Friday 10th August.
There is a timetable below

Classes are from Tuesday – Saturday and then Monday – Friday. There will be a 1 1/2 day break on Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

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.

Lecture strands

Syntax and the brain

Invited Lecturers: David Adger (Queen Mary) and Liina Pylkkanen (New York University)

Lecturer/convenor: Terje Lohndal

Topics to include: syntactic representations and neuroscience, brain areas involved in representing syntactic structure, computational vs. algorithmic vs. implementational approaches to syntax, the role of memory and economy considerations in syntactic theory

Pragmatics: Theory and experiment

Invited Lecturers: Ira Noveck (CNRS) and Deirdre Wilson (UCL), plus Ingrid Lossius Falkum (University of Oslo)

Lecturer/convenor: Nicholas Allott

Topic: the current state-of-the-art in theoretical and experimental pragmatics, including: how hearers bridge the gap between linguistic meaning and utterance content; the kinds of neurological measures used in recent experimental pragmatics; the role of effort factors in utterance interpretation; and lexical pragmatics and figurative speech.

Foundational questions about computational/representation theories of cognition

Invited Lecturers: Rosa Cao (Stanford) and Randy Gallistel (Rutgers)

Lecturer/convenors: Carsten Hansen and Georges Rey

Topics to include: What constraints does computational cognitive science place on neuroscience and what constraints does neuroscience place on computational models? What sort of general architecture is plausible for the brain: classical, connectionist, map-like, analog? In what sense do the computational states employ representations? Is there a single notion of representation that covers e.g. navigation, vision, where there’s often an independent external reality, and grammar and language (where there seems not to be one)?

Certificate of participation, plus transferable credits

You can receive a certificate certifying satisfactory participation, plus 5 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits. This requires that you:

If you want, you write an additional comprehensive essay after the course and submit it to us. This brings an additional 5 ECTS credits (10 in total).

Lecture schedule (provisional: updated 22nd June)

Tuesday, July 31st

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 1st

09:30-11:00
STRAND 1: SYNTAX
Pylkkänen · Syntax in the brain: Introduction

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 2: PRAGMATICS
Allott · Introduction to modern pragmatics

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00
STRAND 1: SYNTAX
Pylkkänen · The combinatory network, lecture 1

Thursday, August 2nd

09:30-11:00
STRAND 1: SYNTAX
Pylkkänen · The combinatory network, lecture 2

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 2: PRAGMATICS
Wilson · Speaker’s meaning and non-propositional effects

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00
STRAND 1: SYNTAX
Pylkkänen · Anterior vs posterior temporal cortex: semantics vs. syntax?

Friday, August 3rd

09:30-11:00
STRAND 1: SYNTAX
Adger · Autonomy of syntax

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 2: PRAGMATICS
Wilson · Figurative utterances: Metaphor and irony I

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00
ROUND-TABLE

16:30-19:00
STUDENT PRESENTATIONS
tba

Saturday, August 4th

09:30-11:00
STRAND 1: SYNTAX
Adger · Prior structure and possessor recursion and induction

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 2: PRAGMATICS
Noveck · Figurative utterances: Metaphor and irony II

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

Free afternoon and evening

Sunday, August 5th

REST DAY

Monday, August 6th

09:30-11:00
STRAND 1: SYNTAX
Adger · Mental representations

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 3: COMP./REP.
tba · tba

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00
STRAND 2: PRAGMATICS
Lossius Falkum & Wilson · Theoretical and developmental studies of metonymy

18:00
BARBEQUE
Depending on the weather, either Monday or Tuesday

Tuesday, August 7th

09:30-11:00
STRAND 1: SYNTAX
Rey · tba

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 3: COMP./REP.
Hansen · tba

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00

STRAND 3: COMP./REP.
tba · tba

18:00
BARBEQUE
Depending on the weather, either Monday or Tuesday

Wednesday, August 8th

09:30-11:00
STRAND 3: COMP./REP.
tba · tba

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 2: PRAGMATICS
Noveck · Skeptics with tools: How do experimentalists approach their task?

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00
STRAND 3: COMP./REP.
tba · tba

Thursday, August 9th

09:30-11:00
STRAND 3: COMP./REP.
tba · tba

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
STRAND 2: PRAGMATICS
Noveck · tba

13:00-14:30
LUNCH

14:30-16:00
STRAND 3: COMP./REP.
tba · tba

Friday, August 10th

09:30-11:00
STRAND 3: COMP./REP.
tba · tba

11:00-11:30
BREAK

11:30-13:00
ROUND-TABLE