All posts by jamiecroy27

Soap Vox Lecture | Wed 15 Jan | Ed Robertson

at 18:00 in Lecture Theatre 4, Appleton Tower

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Esperanto – The Used-to-Be Artificial Language


In 1887 Esperanto was launched as yet another proposal for a universal language. In the 30 years between then and its founder’s death in 1917, it acquired fluent speakers in many parts of the world, the gaps in the launch prospectus’s vocabulary started being filled in, and Esperanto’s expressiveness was extended by speakers exploiting the flexibility of the language. In the early years of the 20th century there is the first documented case of a native speaker. Zamenhof’s founding grammar claimed to have only 16 rules, and had a wordlist of under 1000 entries; today’s standard reference grammar of Esperanto, Wennergren’s Plena Manlibro de Esperanta Gramatiko, has nearly 700 pages, and the largest monolingual Esperanto paper dictionary has just under 47000 entries. While Esperanto has not come anywhere near its founder’s fantasies of solving the world’s communication problems, and today probably still has fewer than 50000 currently active fluent speakers worldwide, of whom perhaps less than 1000 are native speakers, it has survived almost 127 years, it is spoken all over the planet, has had three nominees for the Nobel Prize in Literature in recent years, and the Esperanto-language Wikipedia is 32nd in size among the languages of the world, just behind Turkish and Kazakh, and just ahead of Slovak and Danish. So, is Esperanto a real language now?

Entry is £1 and FREE to active members. Membership can be purchased on our EUSA profile (http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/societies/society/langsoc/) or otherwise at that night.

The talk will start at 6:00 p.m. and last about 1 hour. It will be followed by a Q&A session (about half an hour). We will then go to a pub for food and drink with the speaker.

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Our talks are public lectures open to all, regardless of whether you are a student or not or what or where you study if a student. We aim for all of our events to be accessible to all; please feel free to contact us beforehand if you require assistance or further information.

– See more at: http://langsoc.eusa.ed.ac.uk/#sthash.5VKLm4Uw.dpuf

Soap Vox Lecture | Wed 20 Nov | Alice Turk

at 18:00 in Lecture Theatre 4, Appleton Tower

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Speech Rhythm: A Commentary

After last year’s “Timing in Talking” SoapVox lecture we are really excited to once again present Professor Alice Turk on “Speech Rhythm: A Commentary”! This will be tied to a published article she co-authored just this year of the same name.

Alice Turk is Professor of Linguistics and a member of the Phonetics and Phonology Research Group at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests cover speech production, speech perception, prosodic structure, and timing.

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Entry is £1 and FREE to active members. Membership can be purchased on our EUSA profile (http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/societies/society/langsoc/) or otherwise at that night.

The talk will start at 6:00 p.m. and last about 1 hour. It will be followed by a Q&A session (about half an hour). We will then go to a pub for food and drink with the speaker.

***
Our talks are public lectures open to all, regardless of whether you are a student or not or what or where you study if a student. We aim for all of our events to be accessible to all; please feel free to contact us beforehand if you require assistance or further information.

LangSoc Social | Wed 13 Nov | Linguistics Olympiad

from 19:30 in The Study, Teviot Row House.

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Entry FREE for members, £1 for non-members.

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Come along and relax this Wednesday at our fun but challenging Linguistics Olympiad and Quiz.

That Linguistics Olympiad social is the perfect opportunity to get to know the sorts do questions which UKLO uses to grill young linguistics enthusiasts in order or get a place at international linguistic Olympiads. All are welcome to attend and test their intuitions with, or without, a good ol’ drink (or two).

LangSoc has also been involved in marking papers from the United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO). Anyone interested in helping LangSoc with our work within UKLO is welcome to enquirer at this social event.

See you all there!

Soap Vox Lecture | Wed 6 Nov | Riikka Möttönen

at 18:00 in Lecture Theatre 4, Appleton Tower

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Investigating auditory-motor processing of speech sounds using transcranial magnetic stimulatio

Abstract: The link between speech perception and production is still poorly understood. Growing evidence shows that regions in the motor cortex that control the movements of the articulators (e.g., lips) activate during listening to speech. Whether these motor regions contribute to speech perception is under active debate. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) provides a powerful tool to investigate the role of the articulatory motor cortex in speech perception. In this talk, I will first present evidence that TMS-induced disruption of the lip motor representation impairs discrimination of speech sounds that differ in the place of articulation, supporting the idea that the articulatory motor cortex contributes to speech perception. I will then present evidence that the TMS-induced disruption of the lip motor representation modulates early auditory-cortex responses to speech sounds measured using electro- and magnetoencephalography. I will argue that these findings show that the auditory and motor cortex interact during speech processing. I will also discuss the effect of attention on these auditory-motor interactions.

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Entry is £1 and FREE to active members. Membership can be purchased on our EUSA profile (http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/societies/society/langsoc/) or otherwise at that night.

The talk will start at 6:00 p.m. and last about 1 hour. It will be followed by a Q&A session (about half an hour). We will then go to a pub for food and drink with the speaker.

***
Our talks are public lectures open to all, regardless of whether you are a student or not or what or where you study if a student. We aim for all of our events to be accessible to all; please feel free to contact us beforehand if you require assistance or further information.

Soap Vox Lecture | Wed 30 Oct | Mark Steedman

at 18:00 in Lecture Theatre 4, Appleton Tower

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The Ghost in the Machine: Linguistics and Computation

Abstract: Almost sixty years ago, Chomsky 1957 placed automata-theory at the
centre of linguistic theory, arguing that natural languages were
beyond the context-free recognition capabilities of pushdown automata,
and raising the question of exactly what level of automata theoretic
expressive complexity would be the minimum needed to capture natural
languages. The interest of the question lies in the fact that most
natural linguistic phenomena, despite the important exceptions, seem to be
context-free, prompting the conjecture that there might exist a
“mildly context sensitive” natural family of languages with a little more
expressive power, but with comparably attractive computational
properties, and consequent increased linguistic explanatory adequacy.

Transformational rules themselves turned out to be too expressive to
be of automata theoretic interest in this sense, and mainstream
linguistics has shown little interest in the question since. However,
in recent years there have been a number of proposals for less
expressive formalisms from computational linguists who build practical
devices for tasks like question-answering and machine translation.
I’ll review some of these developments in non-technical linguistic
terms, using examples from various languages, and draw some
conclusions for understanding problematic notions such as universal
grammar, the role of statistical models, and the course of language
acquisition in children as observed by psychologists.

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Entry is £1 and FREE to active members. Membership can be purchased on our EUSA profile (http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/societies/society/langsoc/) or otherwise at that night.

The talk will start at 6:00 p.m. and last about 1 hour. It will be followed by a Q&A session (about half an hour). We will then go to a pub for food and drink with the speaker.

***
Our talks are public lectures open to all, regardless of whether you are a student or not or what or where you study if a student. We aim for all of our events to be accessible to all; please feel free to contact us beforehand if you require assistance or further information.

– See more at: http://langsoc.eusa.ed.ac.uk/?cat=9#sthash.cp7rOBq1.dpuf

Hoody Competition | Deadline Fri 25 Oct

Hey everybody!

LangSoc is looking for a new hoodie design and we want you, our members, to create it!

So if you have a brilliant idea, a certain artistic flair or both, show us what you’ve got!

If your entry wins, you’ll receive a free hoodie bearing your design, along with it being made available for the entire society to order, so you can see your work all around campus.

The deadline for submission has been extended to Friday 25th October, 8PM. Entries should be sent to this this e-mail address. Check out this file (Hoodie Select) showing our current designs, to give you a little guidance.

Best of luck!

LangSoc Discussion Group on Revival Linguistics | Wed 23 Oct

19:30 in The Potting Shed, 32 Potterrow.

RSVP on facebook

Langsoc hasn’t done a reading group for a while, so we thought we’d do this as something a bit different.

Just have a look at the paper and come along for a relaxed discussion over a drink at the Potting Shed pub. You can contribute as much as little as you like, and don’t worry if you don’t have time to read the whole paper—you can just skim read it: all will be explained at the event. The discussion will be led by our Vice-President, who has a strong interest in the linguistics of language revival and personal experience of the subject.

http://www.zuckermann.org/pdf/Hybridity_versus_Revivability.pdf

LangSoc Social | Wed 16 Oct | Liquid Language

from 19:30 in The Loft Bar, Teviot Row House.

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Entry £1.50 for members, £3 for non-members.

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Come along for an evening of relaxed linguistics and language related discussion and banter over a glass of wine (or other drink). Taste three different wines and try out fun activities to get you thinking about their tastes and how we talk about them. You will then have the chance to try out your new-found skills on other drinks.

Arrive in good time as places will be limited!

LangSoc Social | Fri 4 Oct | Wug Crawl!

at 20:00 outside of Teviot Row House

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This week, we’re taking a break from our usual Wednesday events. Come and join us on our first Wug Crawl of 2013/14!

All welcome, drinking or not, join us as we scout the pubs of Newington, escorted by our resident Wug! Follow the wug on our Facebook event or on Twitter @LangSoc (#wugcrawl) to keep up with where we are as we move through the bars. Drunken nerdy banter and Wug dancing is definitely promised (we may finish at a club)!

We will be meeting outside Teviot at 8pm, and heading off soon after.

See you all there!