Conferenza di Afra Alishahi (Univ. Tilburg): Generalization patterns in a probabilistic model of argument structure acquisition

Giovedì 3 marzo 2016, ore 15.00

Sala Riunioni di Palazzo Venera (Via Santa Maria, 36)

Afra Alishahi (Univ. Tilburg)

terrà una lezione su:

Generalization patterns in a probabilistic model of argument structure acquisition


I will present a probabilistic usage-based model of verb argument structure acquisition that can successfully learn abstract knowledge of language from instances of verb usage. The model provides concrete explanation for the observed generalization patterns in child language acquisition. Argument structure constructions are represented as probabilistic associations between syntactic and semantic features of a verb usage; these associations generalize over the syntactic patterns and the fine-grained semantics of both the verb and its arguments. The probabilistic nature of argument structure constructions in the model enables it to capture statistical effects in language learning, and adaptability in language use. I will briefly present recent applications of this model on learning thematic role profiles and investigating verb production in first and second language.

Sulla relatrice:

Afra Alishahi is an Associate Professor at the Tilburg Center for Cognition and Communication (TiCC), Tilburg University, the Netherlands. She received her PhD in Computer Science from University of Toronto and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Computational Psycholinguistic group, Saarland University. Her main research interest is developing computational models for studying the process of human language learning. She received an NWO Aspasia grant in 2012, and is the Co-PI of the NWO project on the role of non-verbal cues on child language learning. She was a runner-up for the Marr Prize at the 27th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society for her work on learning abstract linguistic constructions, and together with Afsaneh Fazly and Suzanne Stevenson from University of Toronto received the Cognitive Science Prize for the best paper on Language Modeling at the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.