Evan Kidd Seminar: Role of frequency in syntax acquisition and processing

Dr Evan Kidd (ANU) will present the next LuCiD Seminar on Identifying a role for frequency information in the acquisition and processing of syntactic structure. The seminar will take place from 12.00-13.30 on Thursday 23rd July at the University of Manchester and is open to anyone wishing to attend.


Many formal psycholinguistic theories are resistant to the idea that frequency information might play an important role in language acquisition and processing. In contrast, usage-based approaches identify a central role for frequency. Relative clause constructions (RCs) have played a central role in theory building in modern psycholinguistics, owing largely to the fact that subject RCs (e.g., the woman that kissed the man) are easier to process than object RCs (e.g., the man that the woman kissed). Formal accounts attribute this difference to differences in the complexity of syntactic derivation. However, the two sentence types also differ in their frequency of occurrence. In this talk I present the results of a series of studies conducted with a range of populations (L1 adults, children, bilinguals) and languages (English, German, Cantonese) that indicate frequency information plays an important role in RC representation.


Where: Turing Seminar Room, Coupland 1, University of Manchester.

When: 12.00-13.30, Thursday 23rd July

Directions: Coupland One building is on Coupland Street, off Oxford Road, building 43 on the Campus Map

More Information: View the seminar poster for further details (PDF will open in new window)


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