Issue 2013/04/12

Perspectives on Modality

Today in Cordura 100 from 9:30am to 5pm the Language and Natural Reasoning group at CSLI is presenting the Perspectives on Modality workshop. For more info and the schedule see the website:

The study of modality lies at the intersection of reasoning and natural language. In linguistic theory and in logic modality has received intensive study. In NLP it has recently become relevant, as the field is moving beyond the identification of events and their participants towards making inferences about the (likelihood of) occurrence or non-occurrence of events. This workshop assembles linguists, logicians and computer scientists to assess standard and non-standard models of the meaning and inferential properties of modal expressions and to discuss the potential compatibility of seemingly disparate formal frameworks and the way their results can be integrated in NLP.

Davis for P-Interested Today

Come on by the Greenberg Room today at 12:15 for Andrea Davis‘ (Arizona) talk. Here’s the abstract:

When is Phonetic Variation Helpful for Learning Word Forms?
Phonetic variation between speakers promotes generalization when learning new words (Richtsmeier et al., 2009; Rost & McMurray, 2009, 2010). But is variation always helpful for generalization? It could be the case that whether variation is beneficial for generalization depends on a variety of factors, including prior experience with the language, the developmental stage of the learner, whether or not the new words are similar in form to other words, or whether the test is on perception vs production of the new words. The proposed work focuses on two of these factors. Do learners with more experience with a language still benefit from phonetic variation, when learning new words? Additionally, is there a difference between perception and production, in whether experienced learners continue to benefit from phonetic variation?

LangCog Lab meeting on Tuesday

Ally Kraus writes:

Hi everyone!

Join us Tuesday 4/16 at noon for our next meeting, where Mike and Ricardo will be doing practice talks for SRCD (Mike’s abstract below, Ricardo’s pending). We’ll be meeting in Jordan 419 at noon and lunch will be served. I’ll be ordering from Ike’s. Send me:

- sandwich name
- half or whole
- type of bread
- what toppings you’d like
- any special requests/adjustments.


Please send me your requests by Saturday at 10AM so I can place the order.

See you next week!

Developmental and postural changes in children’s visual access to faces
The faces of other people are a critical information source for young children. During early development, children undergo significant postural and locomotor development, changing from lying and sitting infants to toddlers who walk independently. We used a head-mounted camera in conjunction with a face-detection system to explore the effects of these changes on children’s visual access to their caregivers’ faces during an in-lab play session. In a cross-sectional sample of 4–20 month old children, we found substantial changes in face accessibility based on age and posture. These changes may translate into changes in the accessibility of social information during language learning.