New article: Lesage, Ramlakhan, Toivonen & Wildman

Former lab member Claire Lesage and lab members Nalini Ramlakhan, Ida Toivonen, and Chris Wildman have published a paper in the Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. The paper is available here.

Claire Lesage, Nalini Ramlakhan, Ida Toivonen and Chris Wildman. The reliability of testimony and perception: connecting epistemology and linguistic evidentiality. Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

Posted in Publication Notices | Leave a comment

New article: Toivonen, Blumenfeld, Gormley, Hoiting, Logan, Ramlakhan & Stone

Lab members Ida Toivonen, Lev Blumenfeld, Leah Hoiting, Nalini Ramlakhan and former member Adam Stone have published a paper in the prestigious Proceedings of WCCFL 32. The paper is available here.

Ida Toivonen, Lev Blumenfeld, Andrea Gormley, Leah Hoiting, John Logan, Nalini Ramlakhan and Adam Stone. Vowel height and duration. In Ulrike Steindl, Thomas Borer, Huilin Fang, Alfredo García-Pardo, Peter Guekguezian, Brian Hsu, Charlie O’Hara, Iris Chuoying Ouyang (eds.), Proceedings of WCCFL 32, 64–71 Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceeding Project.

Posted in Publication Notices | Leave a comment

Elizabeth Christie receives her doctorate

We’re sad to see Liz Christie’s name move from the list of current members of the lab to the list of former members, but it’s for a good reason: Today Liz received her doctorate in Cognitive Science, with a dissertation titled The English Resultative, downloadable from the Dissertations page. Congratulations, Liz!

Posted in Students | Leave a comment

Elizabeth Christie defends her doctoral dissertation

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Elizabeth Christie passed her doctoral defence today with minor corrections. Congratulations, Liz! Her dissertation is titled The English Resultative and was co-supervised by Ida Toivonen and Ash Asudeh.

Posted in Students | Leave a comment

LLI Members win more convocation medals

Congratulations to LLI members Matthew Darling and Eric Spero for willing medals at the Fall 2014 convocation.
Matthew Darling won a University Medal in Cognitive Science and Eric Spero won a Senate Medal.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New book: Siddiqi

Lab member Dan Siddiqi is a co-editor of the new Routledge Handbook of Syntax. The book is available here.

Andrew Carnie, Daniel Siddiqi & Yosuke Sato. 2014. The Routledge Handbook of Syntax. Routledge.


Posted in Publication Notices | Leave a comment

LLI members win convocation medals

Congratulations to LLI members Dejan Milacic, Katie van Luvan and Rick Cheshire for winning medals at this year’s convocation.

Dejan won a University Medal in Cognitive Science.

Rick Cheshire won a University Medal in Arts.

Katie van Luven won a Senate Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LLI Meeting: March 21, 2014

This week, Friday March 21st, 2014, we will have Linda Cochrane of Concordia University give a talk entitled, “Water is not H20″ (abstract below).

Linda Cochrane is a PhD candidate at Concordia University, with BA’s in mathematics and philosophy, a graduate diploma in computer science, and an MA in philosophy. Her dissertation is multidisciplinary combining philosophy, psychology, and linguistics.

We will meet at the usual date and location, this Friday, March 21st, at 1 to 2:30pm in VSSM5220.

Abstract: Water is not H2O
Plato famously wrote that real universals “carve nature at its joints”. A similar idea is widely supported today by many scientists, philosophers, and others in their claim that mind-independent, naturally-occurring categories (natural kinds) exist in the external world, there for us to discover. Extending this idea, linguistic philosophers claim that the meaning of words (at least of natural kind terms) is simply their real world reference, and many philosophers of mind claim that the content of the related concepts just is the external referent. While I am willing to accept the existence of a mind-independent world, I assert that the “externalist” position should be rejected and argue instead for an “internalism” which holds, in part, that we cannot know the world-as-it-is and that we construct a portrayal of the world. Noam Chomsky used the “poverty of the stimulus” argument to support the existence of an innate language acquisition device. Likewise, the poverty of the stimuli we receive through our sensory receptors is insufficient to support the “externalist” position. We thus require innate capacities and categories, along with our innate and acquired concepts, theories, and belief systems, to impose structure on what William James called “one great blooming, buzzing confusion.”  In arguing for my position, I present a model of a hybrid cognitive architecture which is, I deem, more consistent with the results of current biological and neuroscientific studies. As an illustration, I use the two, oft-used examples of natural kind concepts: WATER and H2O.

Posted in Meetings, Talks | Tagged | Leave a comment

LLI Meeting: March 7, 2014

This week, we have Prof. Erik Anonby presenting current research for Institute of Cognitive Science’s LLI Lab and Carleton’s French department in joint collaboration. His talk is entitled, “Qu’est-ce que découvrir une « nouvelle » langue? Enjeux et identités dans la documentation linguistique” or What’s it like to discover a “new” language? Issues and identities in language documentation”.

Please note that Erik’s talk will not be in the usual location, but rather in Canal Building 2202 from 1 to 2:30pm. Additionally, the talk will be given in French with discussion taking place in both English and French. Please see the abstract below for more information.


Les Causeries du Département de français
LLI : Language, Logic & Information Lab, Institute of Cognitive Science
ProfErik Anonby
Qu’est-ce que découvrir une « nouvelle » langue ? Enjeux et identités dans la documentation linguistique
What’s it like to discover a “new” language ? Issues and identities in language documentation
7 mars 2014, 13h
Salle 2202, Canal Building, Université Carleton
La présentation se tiendra en français
Discussion in French and English
Entrée libre, dans la limite des places disponibles
Café et muffins sur place

Résumé (English version follows)
On compte de par le monde de nombreuses langues en voie de disparition.  De fait, plus de la moitié des 7 000 langues vivantes aujourd’hui connues risquent de disparaître d’ici cent ans. Or on n’en continue pas moins à documenter de « nouvelles » langues. Où, et comment, découvre-t-on ces nouvelles langues ? Comment les documente-t-on ? Qui détermine si ces variétés devraient se classer comme langues ou comme dialectes ? Enfin, de l’État-nation à l’Ethnologue, comment les autorités politiques mais aussi savantes établissent-elles les listes de langues qu’elles sanctionnent ?
Dans cette communication, le professeur Anonby s’appuiera sur les recherches qu’il a menées sur le terrain en Afrique nord-centrale, en Arabie et en Iran. Il abordera également la politique linguistique dans la francophonie en se référant à l’histoire du français et aux enjeux d’identité linguistique dans des sociétés francophones modernes.
Erik Anonby est professeur de linguistique française à l’Université Carleton. Son travail couvre les domaines de la documentation linguistique, de la phonologie et de la sociolinguistique. Il est auteur de A Grammar of Mambay (Köppe, 2011), Adaptive multilinguals: Language on Larak Island, Iran (avec Pakzad Yousefian, Uppsala, 2011) et Dictionnaire mambay-français (KWEF, sous presse).

Many of the world’s languages are dying out, and up to half of the 7000 known languages spoken today may be gone a century from now. But at the same time, “new” languages are still being documented. Where, and how, are these new languages “discovered”? How should we document them? Who decides whether these varieties should be treated as a languages, or as dialects? And how do nation-states – or even academic sources such as the Ethnologue – arrive at their seemingly authoritative lists of languages?
In this talk, Prof. Anonby will draw on his experiences in fieldwork in north-central Africa, Arabia and Iran. He will also on politics of language in the French-speaking world, referring to the history of French and to issues of language identity in modern francophone societies.
Erik Anonby is professor of French Linguistics at Carleton University. His work spans language documentation, phonology, and sociolinguistics. He is the author of A Grammar of Mambay (Köppe, 2011), Adaptive multilinguals: Language on Larak Island, Iran(with Pakzad Yousefian, Uppsala, 2011), and Dictionnaire mambay-français (KWEF, in press).

Posted in Meetings, Talks | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

LLI Meeting: Feb 28, 2014

This Friday Elizabeth Christie will be presenting more of her doctoral research on the English Resultative. Her informal discussion will include the latest grammaticality judgement surveys she had designed, followed by a short presentation on the resultative and a discussion of experimental design, as well as a discussion of the relevant stimuli.

We will meet at the usual time and place: Friday at 1 to 2:30pm in VSSM5220.

Posted in Meetings, Students | Tagged , | Leave a comment