Projets actuels/Current Projects

Morphological Uncertainty (CRSH- 430-2015-00722)

 

Co-chercheure 

Chercheur principal: Thomas Leu (UQAM)

 

Description du projet (en anglais)

 

  The role of comparative work in studying the language faculty is a little like the role of stereovision in depth perception - sine qua non. But comparing presupposes comparability. A challenge in comparative linguistics is that, as the categories in the  objects of study become smaller and more fine-grained, an epistemological gap emerges   between the material base, which we can observe, and their abstract system of organization, which we want to model. The material base consists of pieces that constitute form-content associations: morphemes.

  And morphemes only have a language-particular status. But the abstract grammatical system (the theory of the human language faculty) builds from comparing morpheme distribution and interaction across languages. In other words, the necessary comparability is lacking a solid foundation. This is what we call the morpheme uncertainty problem.

  This gap is usually bridged on the basis of traditional grammatical categories and/or meaning postulates, in other words, on the basis of the content. But such content is elusive. And the distortion that can come from the transposition of categories from one language to the description of another language has long been recognized, but not eliminated.

  The present project proposed a diversification of the ways in which the gap is bridged. Concretely, we propose to complement the traditional content-(category/meaning-)based perspective, thereby reducing its potentially distorting impact. Our proposed alternative way of bridging the gap consists of identifying categories by their form (in a way familiar from pre-Chomskyan American structuralism) in terms of morph distribution patterns (MDPs), which are then compared across languages. In our project e will examine 10 target items (plausible functional morphemes, as identified by traditional grammars), describing their morph-distribution patterns MDPs (i.e. the distribution of the morphemic form rather than of the alleged morpheme).

 

 

 

 

 

Phonological Theory Agora (CNRS) (2015-2018)

Membre d'équipe

Chercheurs principaux: Sophie Wauquier, Tobias Scheer, Marc van Oostendorp

 

Description du projet (English below)

 

Ce projet se base sur un nombre restreint de présupposés partagés par ses membres :

1.     Des théories des représentations et des computations sont toutes deux nécessaires.

2.     La phonologie et la phonétique sont des systèmes distincts.

3.     Des recherches conclusives ne doivent pas se baser sur des études corpus ou statistiques.

Ces hypothèses fondatrices suscitent l’étude d’un nombre de sujets, parmi lesquels :

1.     La base formelle des représentations (objets) et systèmes computationnels (procédures) phonologiques.

2.     La clarification de la répartition du travail entre les deux.

3.     Le bon équilibre entre les universels et la variation grammaticale.

4.     La relation de la phonologie avec (principalement) la morphosyntaxe et la phonétique, en termes d' interfaces mais également en vue de l'établissement d'une terminologie commune

5.     L’ontologie et la spécificité de la phonologie et sa place dans les sciences cognitives/la communauté biolinguistique : Quelles sont les propriétés/procédures spécifiques au domaine phonologique ? Quelles données reflètent le recrutement des capacités cognitives générales ?  

6.     La nécessité de la formalisation.

 

site web

 

Project Description

 

The project is based on a small number of assumptions that are shared by the participants:

1.              Both theories of symbolic representations and computation are needed.

2.              Phonology and phonetics are distinct systems.

3.              Demonstrations that are not based on corpus data and/or statistical relevance may be conclusive.

 

This framing prompts a number of topics of interest, which include the following :

1.              The formal basis of phonological representations (objects) and computation (processes).

2.              The division of labour between them.

3.              The proper balance between universals and variation in grammar.

4.              The relation of phonology with (primarily) morphosyntax and phonetics, both in terms of the interfaces, as well as the necessity of a shared vocabulary.

5.              The ontology and specificity of phonology and its place within Cognitive Science / the biolinguistics community: What exactly is specifically phonological (linguistic) (domainspecific)? What exactly reflects the recruitment of more general cognitive capacities (domaingeneral)?

6.          The necessity of formalization.

 

website

Projets Précédents/Previous Projects

La groupe de recherche sur les interfaces de la syntaxe / Syntactic Interfaces Research Group (SIRG) (2011-2015)

FQRSC 2012-SE-144646

Membre d'équipe

Chercheuse principale: Lisa Travis

 

Déscription du projet (English below)

 

L'objectif de ce groupe de recherche cross-modulaire est d'entreprendre un examen approfondi des problèmes techniques qui proviennent des interactions aux deux interfaces syntaxiques -PF et LF- quand des représentations syntaxiques sont  interprétées soit par le composant phonologique, soit par le composant sémantique. L'étude fait particulièrement attention aux conséquences pour les systèmes phonologiques et sémantiques dans des dérivations cycliques présentées dans la théorie des Phases de Chomsky (Chomsky 2001 et travail subséquent). Le projet comporte trois axes de recherche : la structure des mots aux interfaces, la structure des phrases aux interfaces, et la structure du discours aux interfaces.

Site web

 

Project Description

 

The goal of this cross-modular research group is to closely examine technical issues that arise at the two syntactic interfaces – PF and LF – when syntactic representations are interpreted by either the phonological component or the semantic component. The investigation pays particular attention to the implications to both the phonology and the semantics of expressions of the theory of cyclic Spell Out of phases (Chomsky 2001). The project contains three research axes: the structure of words at the interfaces, the structure of sentences at the interfaces, and the structure of discourse at the interfaces.

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