Language learning can be put under three broad perspectives. Some believe language is pairing of lexicon and syntax i.e. of words and the set of rules that defines how we can combine those words most fundamental of these rules are innate i.e. they are already there in the human mind before it is exposed to society. This means there is perhaps an innate Language Faculty. Still others believe that General Cognitive Abilities that account for other kinds of learning can also account for language. There are many others who strongly believe that language is essentially socially embedded and that all learning takes place through social interactions. This course will briefly account for the most convincing position and will argue for it from generative perspective and biological foundations of language. Throughout the course we will try to be familiar with relationship between language and human mind; to understand language as a special purpose cognitive ability; and to understand underlying mental computation for natural language processing.
Week One- On Language What is Language? What is scientific about language? How is language constitutive of being human? Distinction between human and non-human language Origin of language What is the relationship between language and mind? How do children acquire language? Nature of learning language Generative foundation of language acquisition Biological foundation of Language Language acquisition device Universal grammar
Week Two- Language in Mind Acquisition and/or learning I-language and Innateness Patterns – Universal Grammar Human Brain Language deficit/ loss
Week Three- Patterns in sounds and words Sounds Vowels/Consonants Places and manners of articulation Features of sounds
Week Four- Words and sentences Words Constraints of patterns in words Cluster as constraints Syllables
Week Five- Grammar Parts of sentences Subjects/ Predicates Lexical categories Functional categories Nature of verbs
Week Six- Advanced Grammar Complement/ adjunct Restrictions Semantic relations Case Movement
Week Seven- Levels of representation and principles of grammar Movement/displacement Motivation for the movement Complementizer phrase Case assignment Passive morphology and NP movement D structure Binding theory Indices and antecedents Co-indexing Constraints
Week Eight- On language and mind Compound verb Negation Language and Cognition Goal of cognitive sciences Computational linguistics- goals, breakthroughs and challenges Language and mind
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These arefree online courses from universities around the world (eg. StanfordHarvardMIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.