The Sprouse Lectures

CRISSP is happy to announce a three-day lecture series by Jon Sprouse.

Lecturer: Jon Sprouse (University of Connecticut)

Title: A program for experimental syntax: data, theory, and biology

Date & time: Mon March 16th (10.00-13.00), Tue March 17th (10.00-13.00),  Wed March 18th (10.00-13.00)

Participation: Participation is free.


Location: CRISSP/KU Leuven Brussels Campus
March 16, 13.00-16.00: room 5402
March 17, 10.00-13.00: room 5404
March 18, 10.00-13.00: room 5404

Over the past 15 years or so, the use of formal experimental methods has steadily gained popularity in theoretical linguistics. The question I’d like to address in this series is exacly how these methods can further the goals of syntactic theory. To that end, I will attempt to lay out a comprehensive research agenda that highlights the types of questions that I think formal methods are particularly well-suited to address. I will divide these questions into three types, roughly corresponding to each day of the lecture series: (i) questions about the data underlying syntactic theories (data), (ii) questions about the nature of syntactic theories (theory), and finally (iii) questions about the mentalistic consequences of syntactic theories (biology). For each topic, I will present a mix of old and new case studies, primarily based on acceptability judgment experiments, with at least one EEG experiment and one computational model thrown in for good measure. My hope is that these case studies will stimulate discussion about how we can push each of these research threads even further in the future.