Linguistics and English Language

Language evolution seminar

Speaker: Itamar Kastner (University of Edinburgh)

Title: Syntactic vs phonological generalizations in allomorphy

Abstract: Language learners typically converge on the same grammar for their language even though the input may be consistent with many different generalizations. This convergence indicates that learners share inductive biases which favor some generalizations over others, but the source of these biases is always up for debate: Are some sources of information more salient and therefore more accessible than others? Is there a formal grammatical bias?

I present an artificial language study approaching this question through the lens of contextual allomorphy, aiming to elucidate the learner's relationship towards different kinds of syntactic, semantic and phonological cues, as well as the order in which these are made available. The results contribute to a growing literature on the inductive biases which learners bring to the acquisition process, highlighting the importance of a grammatically-informed distinction between different sources of information.


Seminars are organised by the Centre for Language Evolution

May 10 2022 -

Language evolution seminar

2022-05-10: Syntactic vs phonological generalizations in allomorphy

Hybrid: Online via link invitation & Room 7.01, Dugald Stewart Building, 3 Charles Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AD