Nous accueillons à partir du 19 mars 2018 le professeur Jean-Pierre Koenig de l’Université de Buffalo (USA) pour une série de quatre séminaires sur le thème :

« Semantic similarity in language and processing ».

Semantic similarity between noun or verb meanings is known to matter in the organization of the lexicon, in the interface between syntax and semantics, and in sentence processing.  Over the last ten years, my students, colleagues, and I have explored in detail the role that semantic similarity plays across various areas of language structure and use, from lexical access to discourse processing, to event categorization, stressing the differences in the kinds of similarity involved or the role similarity plays in each of these areas. In this seminar, I intend to cover each of these areas; each lecture will center on a particular research question, but as I cover our lab’s research, I will introduce students to various techniques we have used, how semantic similarity was measured, as well as the required background knowledge.

Lieu : Université Paris Diderot – Bâtiment olympe de gouges, 8 rue Albert Einstein 75013 Paris.

Lundi 19 mars 16h-18h salle 357
« Polysemy vs. homonymy in lexical access and the mental lexicon »

The various meanings associated with a single word form can either be unrelated (in which case one talks of homonymy) or similar (in which case one talks of polysemy). The literature is unclear in whether the two kinds of words are represented in the same way in the mental lexicon. Part of the reason for this uncertainty stems from the fact that experiments exploring this issue do not always control for the joint effect of two critical factors (1) semantic relatedness and (2) meaning dominance (whether the two meanings are equally frequent). In this lecture, I present the results of several experiments that controlled for both factors and use a variety of techniques (continuous priming, masked priming, eye-tracked sentence reading) which suggest that polysemous words share semantic representations in a way homonyms do not.

Lundi 26 mars 16h-18h salle 357

« Semantic similarity and argument structure constructions »

It has been claimed that verbs that occur in the same syntactic environments tend to have similar meanings and that one verb tends to characterize that meaning (e.g., give for the ditransitive construction in English). In this lecture, I will look at the relation between semantic similarity and syntactic similarity (in terms of frequency of occurrence in argument structure constructions) using both corpus studies and syntactic priming studies and will present corpus studies that explore whether all argument structure constructions behave the same way (they do not!).

Vendredi 6 avril 14h-16h salle 533

« Semantic similarity in grammar vs. sentence processing »

In this lecture, I will survey the dimensions of semantic similarity that matter for grammar (including lexical meaning) and sentence processing by comparing rules that map meaning onto syntax (alluded to in the second lecture) and various experiments that show how detailed knowledge of events or entropy affect predictions upcoming material. Possible explanations for these differences in the kind of semantic similarity that affects grammatical and processing behavior will be explored.

Lundi 9 avril 16h-18h salle 357

« Semantic similarity and event categorization »

This lecture looks at our recent research on the categorization of events below the verb sense (what we call micro-senses). We have used rating studies and experimental techniques to determine (1) whether speakers can categorize events on the basis of similarity of event participant properties below lexicographic entries (they do!) and (2) make hypotheses about what the bases of these micro-sense event categories are. We have tried to determine whether clustering (of sentences) based on computational measures of similarity of event participants (e.g., Latent Semantic Analysis) approximate human classification (they kinda do!).

Some recent publications

Douglas Roland, Hongoak Yun, Jean-Pierre Koenig and Gail Mauner (2012) ‘Semantic similarity, predictability, and models of sentence processing’, Cognition. 122: 267-279.

Hongoak Yun, Gail Mauner, Douglas Roland, and Jean-Pierre Koenig (2012) ‘The Effect of Semantic Similarity is a Function of Contextual Constraint’, Proceedings of the Thirty-Fourth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Cognitive Science Society, Austin, TX.

Dery, Jeruen, and Jean-Pierre Koenig (2014) ‘A narrative-expectation-based approach to temporal update in discourse comprehension’, Discourse Processes. 52: 559-584.

Koenig, Jean-Pierre, Roland, Doug, Yun, Hongoak, and Gail Mauner (2015) ‘Which event properties matter for which cognitive task?’ in Cognitive Science Perspectives on Verb Representation and Processing, R. de Almeida and C. Manilouidou. Springer, Dordrecht, pp.213-234.

Aron Marvel and Jean-Pierre Koenig (2015) ‘Event Categorization beyond Verb Senses. Proceedings of the Eleventh Workshop on Multiword Expressions (MWE 2015), NACCL 2015, Denver, CO.

Brocher, Andreas and Jean-Pierre Koenig (2016) ‘Word meaning frequencies affect negative compatibility effects in masked priming.’ Advances in Cognitive Psychology. 12: 50-66.

Brocher, Andreas, Stefani Foraker, and Jean-Pierre Koenig (2016) ‘Processing of irregular polysemes in sentence reading.’ Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 42: 1798-1813.

Koenig, Jean-Pierre (2016) ‘Event semantics’ in Nick Riemer (Ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Semantics. Routledge, London, pp.387-402.

Yi, Eunkyung and Jean-Pierre Koenig (2106) ‘Why verb meaning matters to syntax’ in Jean Fleischhauer, Anja Latrouite, and Rainer Osswald Explorations of the Syntax-Semantics Interface. University of Duesseldorf Press: Duesseldorf, pp.57-76.

Hao Sun and Jean-Pierre Koenig (2017) ‘There are more valence alternations than the ditransitive’. Proceedings of the Forty-Third Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society.