Home > Events > LangSci Lunch Talk Nick Huang (LING) & Allie Johnson (HESP)
S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 
 
 

LangSci Lunch Talk Nick Huang (LING) & Allie Johnson (HESP)

Time: 
Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Location: 
2130 H. J. Patterson (LSC)

Nick Huang (LING)

Title: Learning exceptions to grammatical constraints

Like many other languages, English blocks the forming of questions about a part of a relative clause, as exemplified by the low acceptability of a wh-question like (a) "*Which language did Mary meet a person who speaks?". However, under specific circumstances, questioning a part of a relative clause becomes better, e.g. (b) "Which language does Mary want to meet a person who speaks?" I argue that this distinction is learned, as it is not universal. How it is learned, however, poses an interesting puzzle, since English speakers are not taught about the unacceptability of (a) and rarely observe sentences like (b) in naturally-occurring contexts. I propose an indirect learning account, where learners infer about its existence by observing questions involving another construction, e.g. (c) "What did Mary go to the store to buy?", and discuss the learning biases that make indirect learning possible.

Allie Johnson (HESP)

Title: Quantifying robustness of the /t/-/k/ contrast

Speech pathologists rely on perceptual judgments to determine whether a production was correct or incorrect. However, our perception-based transcription system is not equipped to describe slight variations in productions, either within or between sound-categories. Having a reliable method to quantify the degree of contrast--or, the degree of overlap--between two speech sounds would not only improve our basic understanding of normal variations in speech, but also inform our approach to therapy and provide additional means to monitor progress for children with speech sound disorders.
 
I will outline a method to quantify the contrast between adults' productions of /t/ and /k/ using a single, acoustic measure plus one piece of contextual information. I will also discuss the application of this method to children's productions and its limitations.

_______

Food and ideas bring people together. Our weekly lunch talk series provides students and faculty with the opportunity to present their in-progress work to a supportive, interdisciplinary audience.

Lunch is served starting at 12:15pm.