MIT World Series: Where Does Syntax Come From? Have We All Been Wrong?
The impetus for this workshop, borrowing from a recent review by Yang in TICS (2004), is that "Recent demonstrations of statistical learning in infants have reinvigorated the innateness versus learning debate in language acquisition," particularly regarding syntax. We aim to reexamine this issue in a single forum from the computational, cognitive, and formal linguistics perspectives. Our intent is to examine recent applications of statistical learning theory to language acquisition. That machine learning has something to offer in understanding language acquisition is not in doubt. However, we would like to examine the basic premise that computational approaches should be linguistically informed. The hypothesis put forth is that statistical approaches should work within the framework of classical linguistics rather than supplant it.
The goal of this workshop is to examine this hypothesis critically, be it wrong or right, and for each speaker to present evidence as they see fit.
About the Host - MIT Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems
This MIT World Series is available at http://mitworld.mit.edu/series/view/119