Home / Oberseminar “General & Theoretical Linguistics”: From binary trade-offs to a causal network of Subject and Object cues: A typological corpus-based study based on Universal Dependencies

 

Time & place: Monday, January 18th, 11.00 am – 12.30 pm, Zoom

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/92536167298

Meeting ID: 925 3616 7298
Passcode: 424677

Speaker: Natalia Levshina, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen

Title: From binary trade-offs to a causal network of Subject and Object cues: A typological corpus-based study based on Universal Dependencies

Abstract: In recent years, the notion of efficient trade-offs between different motivations and types of cues has become very popular in functional and typological approaches to language. The present paper is a case study of different cues that are used to express the core grammatical relationships of Subject and Object, which convey “who did what to whom”. These cues are case marking, rigid word order of Subject and Object, tight semantics and verb-medial order. They are inferred from online language corpora in thirty languages, annotated with the Universal Dependencies. Correlational and causal analyses show that the cues are not used very efficiently. Some of the cues are positively correlated, and the relationships between different cues are not bidirectional. This study suggests that the opportunities given to language users for exhibiting rational behaviour and using their language efficiently are very limited, and shaped by factors very different from rationality and communicative efficiency.

More information about this and past talks in the Oberseminar can be found here: https://uni-tuebingen.de/de/133999.

 
 

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