Jeff Lidz, UMD
Meaning and Distribution
Sometimes a syntactic class has a conceptual correlate. Often nouns express object concepts, verbs express event concepts, and subclasses of them express more specific distinctions. Such correlations have served as a prompt to linguistic theory, in three different ways. They have been taken to support specific claims of semantic or syntactic analysis; to supply premises for bootstrapping in language acquisition; and to force questions about the relative contributions of linguistic and nonlinguistic factors to the character of human languages. For this workshop, we invite critical discussion in any of these areas, and scrutiny of presumed relations between them. How do relations between meaning and distribution help us understand language acquisition, variation or invariance across languages, and relations between linguistic and nonlinguistic cognition? Joining us will be three invited speakers, plus speakers chosen from submitted abstracts, and much time for productive conversation.