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Natural causes of language: Frames, biases, and cultural transmission

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ISBN: 9783944675503 Year: Pages: 97 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_533873 Language: English
Publisher: Language Science Press Grant: FP7 Ideas: European Research Council - 240853
Subject: Linguistics
Added to DOAB on : 2014-12-02 09:32:17
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What causes a language to be the way it is? Some features are universal, some are inherited, others are borrowed, and yet others are internally innovated. But no matter where a bit of language is from, it will only exist if it has been diffused and kept in circulation through social interaction in the history of a community. This book makes the case that a proper understanding of the ontology of language systems has to be grounded in the causal mechanisms by which linguistic items are socially transmitted, in communicative contexts. A biased transmission model provides a basis for understanding why certain things and not others are likely to develop, spread, and stick in languages. Because bits of language are always parts of systems, we also need to show how it is that items of knowledge and behavior become structured wholes. The book argues that to achieve this, we need to see how causal processes apply in multiple frames or 'time scales' simultaneously, and we need to understand and address each and all of these frames in our work on language. This forces us to confront implications that are not always comfortable: for example, that "a language" is not a real thing but a convenient fiction, that language-internal and language-external processes have a lot in common, and that tree diagrams are poor conceptual tools for understanding the history of languages. By exploring avenues for clear solutions to these problems, this book suggests a conceptual framework for ultimately explaining, in causal terms, what languages are like and why they are like that.

Empirical modelling of translation and interpreting

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Book Series: Translation and Multilingual Natural Language Processing ISBN: 9783961100248 9783961100255 Year: Pages: 522 DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1089335 Language: English
Publisher: Language Science Press
Subject: Linguistics
Added to DOAB on : 2018-01-13 11:01:52
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"Empirical research is carried out in a cyclic way: approaching a research area bottom-up, data lead to interpretations and ideally to the abstraction of laws, on the basis of which a theory can be derived. Deductive research is based on a theory, on the basis of which hypotheses can be formulated and tested against the background of empirical data. Looking at the state-of-the-art in translation studies, either theories as well as models are designed or empirical data are collected and interpreted. However, the final step is still lacking: so far, empirical data has not lead to the formulation of theories or models, whereas existing theories and models have not yet been comprehensively tested with empirical methods. This publication addresses these issues from several perspectives: multi-method product- as well as process-based research may gain insights into translation as well as interpreting phenomena. These phenomena may include cognitive and organizational processes, procedures and strategies, competence and performance, translation properties and universals, etc. Empirical findings about the deeper structures of translation and interpreting will reduce the gap between translation and interpreting practice and model and theory building. Furthermore, the availability of more large-scale empirical testing triggers the development of models and theories concerning translation and interpreting phenomena and behavior based on quantifiable, replicable and transparent data."

Sémantique formelle: Volume 1

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Book Series: Textbooks in Language Sciences ISBN: 9783961100170 9781977891549 Year: Pages: 498 DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1000504 Language: French
Publisher: Language Science Press
Subject: Linguistics
Added to DOAB on : 2018-01-13 11:02:32
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"For nearly half a century formal semantics has been a prominent area in linguistic theory, developed in a fruitful collaboration among linguists, logicians and philosophers. Formal semantics is sometimes regarded with reluctance (even dreaded) due to its mathematical precision and the apparent complexity of its symbolism. This textbook —the first one of this scope in French— provides a relaxed self-contained introduction to the domain, allowing the reader autonomous progressive study from the basic central concepts to significant innovations that have shaped the domain since Montague’s seminal work. Through its chapters, the book provides acquaintance with elements of scientific methodology generally used in formal semantics. The six chapters, completed with solved exercises, gradually move from basic notions in logic and model-theoretic semantics, to quantification, temporal and modal logic, intensionality, and typed λ-calculus, culminating in compositional semantic analysis at the syntax-semantics interface. This introduction will be supplemented with a second volume that would focus on applications and advances in the field which extend the scope of the formalism.
The book is intended for linguistics undergraduate and postgraduate students and researchers wishing to improve their skills in formal semantics, as well as for students and researchers of other domains, such as philosophy, logic, or computational science."

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