Indiana University

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Events for the week :
November 03, 2013 - November 09, 2013
November 03
November 04
November 05
November 06
  • Representing and extracting abstract plot structures to model human narrative understanding

    Time: 12:10pm - 01:10pm 

    Place: Psychology Room 128


    Mark Finlayson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

    Narrative structure is an ubiquitous and intriguing phenomenon. Recognizing narrative structure is a process of abstraction, usually from natural language, and thus embodies a skill that underlies many cognitive tasks. I describe my research program for investigating in what ways people are sensitive to narrative structure, especially in their own cultural context. I first describe new techniques for representing the "who does what to whom" of a narrative, a necessary step if we are to computationally model the cognitive processes involved. Second, I describe recent experiments demonstrating that people are actually able to reliably identify explicit narrative structures in text. Finally, I describe my technique for modeling the extraction of narrative structure from narratives: I compare my results to those produced by a human expert, and describe the next steps in the research plan for investigating whether people are differentially sensitive to narrative structures prevalent in their own cultures.


    In category: Computational linguistics


  • Nasal contrast in Buenos Aires Spanish: A perception study

    Time: 01:00pm - 02:00pm 

    Place: Woodburn Hall 002


    Silvina Bongiovanni


    In category: Phonetics and phonology


  • Unsupervised morphological learning

    Time: 03:00pm - 04:00pm 

    Place: Ballantine Hall (BH) 015


    Tony Meyer

    We present an approach to the unsupervised learning of morphology which does not discriminate between non-concatenative and concatenative processes, but handles them equally well. The Multiple Cause Mixture Model (MCMM) is a disjunctive clustering algorithm which assumes that some number of hidden units are responsible for generating the observed data. Unlike other generative learning algorithms, it allows multiple hidden units (morphemes) to become fully active in accounting for a single data point. Experimental results on Hebrew, with concatenative and non-concatenative features, show the utility of the method


    In category: Computational linguistics


November 07
November 08
  • The interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit

    Time: 11:15am - 11:45am 

    Place: Speech and Hearing Building, Room C141


    Tessa Bent

    This study investigated how native language background influences the intelligibility of speech by non-native talkers for non-native listeners from either the same or a different native language background as the talker. Native talkers of Chinese (n=2), Korean (n=2), and English (n=1) were recorded reading simple English sentences. Native listeners of English (n=21), Chinese (n =21), Korean (n=10), and a mixed group from various native language backgrounds (n=12) then performed a sentence recognition task with the recordings from the five talkers. Results showed that for native English listeners, the native English talker was most intelligible. However, for non-native listeners, speech from a relatively high proficiency non-native talker from the same native language background was as intelligible as speech from a native talker, giving rise to the ‘‘matched interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit.’’ Furthermore, this interlanguage intelligibility benefit extended to the situation where the non-native talker and listeners came from different language backgrounds, giving rise to the ‘‘mismatched interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit.’’ These findings shed light on the nature of the talker–listener interaction during speech communication.


    In category: Second language acquisition


  • Why 'snail mail' and not 'turtle mail'?: The role of phonological analogy in novel compound formation

    Time: 03:00pm - 04:00pm 

    Place: Ballantine Hall 344


    Réka Benczes (Eötvös University)

    Much has been said about the communicative, referential aspect of language use, while the playful, ludic function of language has often been neglected. This ludic function is well captured by witty and often humorous metaphorical and metonymical compounds that are based on phonological analogy, i.e., alliteration and/or rhyme. It is hypothesized that phonological analogy is exploited systematically in novel metaphorical and metonymical compounds, and might play an influential role in both the production and the comprehension of novel compounds by serving a number of communicational purposes, such as creating emphasis, easing comprehension and memorability, signalling informality and even upgrading concepts. The talk will investigate the various patterns of phonological analogy inherent in novel metaphor- and metonymy-based compound formation and will also outline its implications for cognitive grammar.


    In category: Phonetics and phonology


November 09

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