Word Knowledge and Word Usage

Country: Italy

City: Pisa

Abstr. due: 01.12.2014

Dates: 30.03.15 — 01.04.15

Area Of Sciences: Humanities;

Organizing comittee e-mail: info-networds@ilc.cnr.it.

Organizers: Scuola Normale Superiore


People are known to understand, memorise and parse words in a context-sensitive, opportunistic way, by caching their most habitual and productive processing patterns into routinized behavioural schemes, similarly to what we observe for sequences of coordinated motor acts. Speakers, however, do not only take advantage of token-based information such as frequency of individual, holistically stored words, or episodic memories of word usage, but they are also able to organise stored word forms through abstract paradigmatic structures (or word families) whose overall size and distribution are important determinants of lexical categorisation, inference and productivity. Contrary to traditional wisdom, epitomised by the so-called “calculator metaphor”, lexical organisation is not necessarily functional to descriptive economy and minimisation of storage, but appears to be influenced by more dynamic, communication-oriented functions such as memorisation, prediction-based recognition and production.

Lending support to this view, usage-based approaches to word processing have recently offered novel explanatory frameworks that capitalise on stable correlation patterns between lexical representations on the one hand and process-based operations that make representations functional to communicative exchanges on the other hand. By focusing on the battery of low-level cognitive functions supporting verbal communication (ranging from serial encoding, rehearsal and storage to access, recall, integration, co-activation and selection) and by exploring the psycholinguistic correlates and neuroanatomical substrates of higher-level communicative functions (recognition, analysis and production), these approaches promote a new view of language architecture as an emergent property of the interaction between language-specific input conditions and (possibly domain-specific) cognitive predispositions.

Topic Areas    ^

The conference intends to address the above-mentioned issues from a cross-disciplinary perspective by encouraging contributions focusing on the following two main topic areas (and their possible interconnections):

usage-based approaches to bootstrapping word form and structure (morpho-phonological and morpho-syntactic issues) including but not limited to
incremental acquisition of lexical categories
emergence of morphological structure
modelling lexical memories
anticipatory prediction-based mechanisms of word recognition
word production
frequency-based models of lexical productivity
word encoding
models of lexical architecture
family-based effects in word processing
word reading and writing

usage-based approaches to word meanings (lexical semantics and pragmatics in morphologically simple and complex words) including but not limited to
distributional semantics
interpretation of compounds
concept composition and coercion
conceptualisation of perception and action
time and space in the lexicon
metonymy and metaphor
lexico-semantic relations (polysemy, synonymy, antonymy etc.)
lexical, context-based and encyclopaedic knowledge
perceptual grounding and embodied cognition in the lexicon
semantic association and categorisation

Conference Web-Site: http://www.networds-esf.eu/index.php?page=final-conference#nws_bookmark_5