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Mayfest 2012: The Role of Computational Models in Linguistic Theory


May 4-5, 2012


Mayfest is a workshop that brings together researchers from a variety of disciplines and perspectives to discuss fundamental issues in linguistics. Over the course of two days, participants engage in talks and discussion sessions to stimulate new insights and collaboration. This year's workshop will center on the role of computational modeling in developing theories of human language.



Theoretical and experimental research in human language has not been fully integrated with computational and mathematical approaches. At this year’s Mayfest, researchers in computational modeling will speak about how their work informs language cognition research and how they envision this integration progressing. Discussion sessions will establish common ground between modelers and other researchers in linguistics with the hope of achieving a higher level of collaboration between the two groups.

We aim to foster discussion of questions that are of interest to both groups: Why is modeling an essential part of studying human language? What are the gaps that will need to be bridged between current theoretical or experimental interests and the state of the art in modeling? Has computational modeling focused on different levels of granularity than other research, and, if so, should it continue to do so? What criteria should be used to evaluate the utility of computational models in explaining human behavioral data? Finally, how can collections of narrow models describing individual phenomena be integrated into a more expansive theory of the relevant cognitive systems?



9:00-9:30 - breakfast
9:30-10:30 - Ed Stabler
10:30-11:30 - Alexander Clark
11:30-11:45 - coffee break
11:45-12:45 - Lisa Pearl
12:45-2:00 - lunch (provided)
2:00-3:00 - Gaja Jarosz
3:00-4:00 - Jason Riggle
4:00-4:15 - coffee break
4:15-5:15 - Amy Perfors
5:15-6:00 - discussion
7:00 - party


10:00-10:30 - breakfast
10:30-11:30 - Roger Levy
11:30-12:30 - Rick Lewis
12:30-2:00 - lunch (on your own)
2:00-3:00 - Robin Clark
3:00-4:00 - Matthew Stone
4:00-4:15 - coffee break
4:15-5:15 - final discussion