外国语言文化论坛第100讲— Form, Meaning, and Frequency in Usage-Based Language Acquisition

讲座名称: 外国语言文化论坛第100讲— Form, Meaning, and Frequency in Usage-Based Language Acquisition
讲座时间 2017-10-18
讲座地点 逸夫外文楼B 1001学术报告厅
讲座人 Nick Ellis
讲座内容
外国语言文化论坛第100讲
讲座题目: Form, Meaning, and Frequency in Usage-Based Language Acquisition
讲座时间: 2017年10月18日下午16:00-18:00
讲座地点: 逸夫外文楼B 1001学术报告厅
讲座摘要:
Usage-based approaches to language learning hold that we learn constructions (form-function mappings, conventionalized in a speech community) from language usage by means of general cognitive mechanisms (exemplar-based, rational, associative learning).
1) Usage. The usage of English verb-argument constructions (VACs) is investigated in large corpora in terms of grammatical form, semantics, lexical constituency, and distribution patterns. VAC type-token frequency follows Zipfian scale-free patterns, as does the degree distribution of the corresponding semantic networks. This suggests that language form, language meaning, and language usage might come together across scales to promote robust induction by means of statistical learning over limited samples.
2) Usage in Mind: L1 knowledge. VAC processing is sensitive to statistical patterns of usage. Native speakers of English generated V slot-fillers in 40 sparse VAC frames such as ‘he __ across the....’. Multiple regression analyses predicting the frequencies of types generated show independent contributions of (i) verb frequency in the VAC, (ii) VAC-verb contingency, and (iii) verb prototypicality in terms of centrality within the VAC semantic network. VAC processing involves rich associations, tuned by verb type and token frequencies and their contingencies of usage, which interface syntax, lexis, and semantics.
3) Usage in Mind: L2 knowledge. German, Spanish, and Czech advanced learners of English show the same effects, although analyses of their frequencies of production residualized against the English native speaker responses demonstrated additional influence of L1 transfer. L2 knowledge thus demonstrates effects of L2 and L1 usage.
4) Usage in Learning: Language acquisition. Analysis of the distribution of VACs in English child-directed speech (CDS) and child language in CHILDES corpora, and in L2 input and SLA in the ESF corpus,  is also shown to be Zipfian, and measures of VAC-verb contingency showed VACs to be selective in their constituency. Language acquisition follows the leads of usage.

 

          

讲座人介绍

Nick Ellis is Professor of Psychology and Research Scientist in the English Language Institute. His research interests include language acquisition, cognition, emergentism, corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics, applied linguistics, and psycholinguistics.
His research in second language acquisition concerns (1) explicit and implicit language learning and their interface, (2) usage-based acquisition and the probabilistic tuning of the system, (3) vocabulary and phraseology, and (4) learned attention and language transfer.
His emergentist research concerns include language as a complex adaptive system, networks analysis of language, scale-free linguistic distributions and robust learning, and computational modeling. Two recent books on these themes are: Language as a Complex Adaptive System (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009, with Diane Larsen-Freeman), and Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition (Routledge, 2008, with Peter Robinson).
He is General Editor of Language Learning.
Affiliation(s)
University of Michigan: ELI, Psychology, Linguistics, Center for the Study of Complex Systems
University of Bangor: Honorary Research Fellow
Field(s) of Study: Cognition & Perception; Developmental Psychology

 

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