Experimental approaches to language universals in structure and meaning

LoLa Workshop 02/08 03/08

Workshop Chairs:
Mora Maldonado (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Alexander Martin (Université de Paris)
Jennifer Culbertson (University of Edinburgh)

Website: http://www.syncog.ppls.ed.ac.uk/ESSLLI/index.html

What is the range of variation in human languages? Despite their apparent differences, natural languages seem to exhibit many profound similarities between them. These similarities, often referred to as _linguistic universals_ (though they are often strong statistical tendencies rather than totally universal) occur at all levels of linguistic analysis, ranging from phonology to semantics. In order to identify which properties are constant across languages and which ones are not, researchers have traditionally relied mainly on data from acquisition or typology. More recently, the use of experimental approaches to the study of linguistic universals has served not only to complement traditional sources but also to provide a cognitive explanation for why these universals hold (Culbertson 2018). This workshop aims at bringing together researchers doing experimental work on language universals from syntactic, semantic, and general cognitive science perspectives.