Seminarul din luna ianuarie va avea loc joi, 26.01, la ora 18:00.
Pathways of the brain
The neurocognitive basis of language
Professor Sydney M. Lamb is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Rice University, Houston, TX and the creator of the Relational Network Theory, also known as Neurocognitive Linguistics, a significant alternative theory to Chomsky’s transformational grammar.
Professor Lamb obtained his Ph.D. in 1958 from the University of California, Berkley and he taught at the same institution from 1956 to 1964, directing the Machine Translation Project from1958 to 1964. He moved to Yale University in 1964 and taught there until 1977 when he left for a high-tech venture back in Berkeley. After selling it to a large electric company in 1980 he was appointed professor of linguistics and semiotics at Rice University in Houston, where he became Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Linguistics in 1983 and professor of cognitive sciences in 1996. He was named professor emeritus at Rice in 1998.
Professor Lamb’s work has focused on several topics ranging from North American Indian Languages to computational linguistics and machine translation and most importantly the underlying neurocognitive mechanisms of language. An early version of his view of the linguistic system was presented under the title Outline of Stratificational Grammar (1966) and the theory was later considerably developed by exploring the its relationships to neurological structures and to thinking processes. These later developments were incorporated in his 1999 book, Pathways of the Brain: The Neurocognitive Basis of Language. An updated and abridged version was published with the title “Linguistic structure: A plausible theory” in Language Under Discussion, Vol. 4, No.1 (2016) (available online). His model is based on the idea that the linguistic system, along with the general cognitive system, is purely relational and that linguistic processing is a matter of selective activation along pathways in interconnected subnetworks of the overall cognitive network.
In this presentation, professor Lamb will offer an introduction to his Relational Network Theory and its aims, along with some findings of interest to cognitive science in general. Of particular interest are two major findings: (1) that no boundary can be found between one’s linguistic system and one’s model, a cognitive map, of the entire cosmos; and (2) that the entire network, representing the personal mental cosmos, is a network of interconnected nodes in which each node is implemented in the cerebral cortex as a cortical column of neurons.
Seminarul de cercetare este un proiect prin care dorim să cunoaștem mai bine preocupările și munca de cercetare ale colegilor noștri din cadrul Facultății de Limbi și Literaturi Străine, dar și din alte centre universitare din țară sau din străinătate. Seminarul se organizează deocamdată online, în a treia zi de joi a fiecărei luni, începând cu orele 18.00.