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人文科学研究所主催公開研究会開催のお知らせ(「言語知識の獲得と使用」チーム)※開催延期となりました。

日程
2019年10月19日(土)16:00~17:30
場所
多摩キャンパス 2号館4階研究所会議室1
内容

台風19号の接近に伴い、以下の研究会を開催日を変更いたします。

■変更前 2019年10月12日(土)
□変更後 2019年10月19日(土)

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講  師  :    William Snyder 氏

        (Professor, University of Connecticut, Department of Linguistics)

 

テーマ :   On Neurodevelopmental Timing, and the Acquisition of Passives and Causatives

 

使用言語: 英語(通訳なし)

 

要  旨:

Children acquiring English are well-known to have specific difficulties with passives (i.e., long, verbal be-passives of actional verbs) until the age of about four years. While the frequency of be-passives in child-directed speech is low, children even younger than four succeed on structures that are still lower in frequency (e.g., direct-object wh-questions; Hirsch & Hartman 2006).  Hence, the delay in passives calls for a different kind of explanation. My recent work extends a line of investigatiion begun by Ken Wexler, who was the first person to propose that this delay follows, in some way, from the time-course of brain development in children. 

 

More specifically, I have been working to test and improve the Universal Freezing Hypothesis (UFH) that I developed in collaboration with Nina Hyams. In the most recent work (conducted in collaboration with Jason Borga), the idea is that a neurodevelopmental change occurs, around age four, in the brain's computational resources for language processing. The critical change involves representations: the sentences that give the younger children problems are the ones requiring them to represent a syntactic chain whose "tail" is contained inside the "head" of another chain.

 

For example, if we assume some version of the "smuggling" proposals of Chris Collins (2002), an English be-passive will generally involve a structure along the folloiwng lines (where traces are represented as copies): The book was [PartP written ] by Susan <PartP> . The tail of the chain headed by the derived subject (the book) is contained inside the head of a lower chain (i.e., the chain created by movement of the Participial Phrase).

 

Positing a change in the representations available during language computation provides a way to account for the improvements that are sometimes found in three-year-olds' performance when the processing demands of the experimental method are reduced. Moreover, the current  proposal makes strong, testable predictions about the particuar syntactic structures that will, and will not, create difficulties for younger children. Structures to be considered in the talk will include both faire-causatives and experiencer predicates in French, as well as get-passives in English.

 

 

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