Yeditepe University, Cognitive Science is happy to announce its next lecture: Language Emergence and Development in the Absence of Conventionalized Linguistic Input.
Dr. Rabia Ergin
Monday, March 2nd, 16:00
B-443 Engineering Building
Human communication system, language, is unique and so distinct from all other systems because we manage to transfer the nuances in meaning and virtually any thought we have in our minds with some degree of precision into another person’s mind. The crucial question is "how does a human language come about from scratch?" In order to address this question, I present evidence from three studies conducted on Central Taurus Sign Language (CTSL). CTSL is a young sign language that emerged within the last half century in the absence of a conventionalized language model. Today it is used by 25 deaf and approximately 80 hearing signers in a mountainous region in south-central Turkey. First, I show the degree of lexicalization of form-meaning mappings in signs for everyday objects. Second, I present evidence for the emergence and conventionalization of various word orders as argument markers. Finally, I demonstrate the emergence and conventionalization of distinctive morphological markers to express predicates signaling symmetry and reciprocity. The three studies together portray the architecture of a young system under construction.
Rabia Ergin is a research group leader at Bogazici University Cognitive Science program, Istanbul/Turkey. She established her research group upon receiving the BIDEB-2232 International Fellowship for Outstanding Researchers grant by TUBITAK. Her main research interests are the emergence of linguistic features in micro-community sign languages and language processing –more specifically, morphological processing in spoken languages.
For her TEDx talk on the Central Taurus Sign Language you can visit the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO1cXxEQm-w