CFP: TWELFTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE MENTAL LEXICON

Update: Deadline for abstract submission is extended until April 30, 2022

We have missed you and we are very happy to announce that the 12th Mental Lexicon
conference will be held in person, beginning on the evening of October 11 and
concluding in the afternoon of October 14, 2022 in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario,
Canada.

The conference will bring together psycholinguistic, neurolinguistic, and computational
research on the representation and processing of words in the mind/brain. The
conference encourages a variety of perspectives on lexical representation and
processing.

More than just a conference. Almost 25 years ago, the International Conference on the
Mental Lexicon was created with the goal of establishing a collegial and supportive
environment for the reporting and development of cutting-edge research on lexical
representation and processing. The planning of the Twelfth International Conference on
the Mental Lexicon is built upon that tradition, particularly now that we emerge
nationally and internationally from a period in which it has been very difficult to hold in-
person meetings and to interact with colleagues.

The conference will be fully in-person. As in the past, there will be no parallel sessions,
so that we can maximize interaction among all attendees. Special sessions will be
designed to advance the careers of students and post-doctoral fellows, and the
conference will include planning sessions for new collaborative international initiatives.

A conference setting in Canadian Wine Country. This is the second time this conference
will be held in the Niagara region in Canada, and it is our hope that the natural beauty
and history of this wine-making region and the comfort of the Georgian-style hotel
venue will add to your enjoyment of the event.

Airport Access from Canada and the USA. Niagara-on-the-Lake is near the Canada-USA
border. It is about 20 kilometers from Niagara Falls, 60 kilometers from Buffalo, New
York, and 120 kilometers from Toronto, Canada. It is served by two large airports:
Toronto and Buffalo, as well as by Hamilton Airport.

Abstract deadline is April 30, 2022. As in previous meetings, the conference will
include both 15-minute platform presentations and poster sessions each day. The
deadline for receipt of abstracts is April 30, 2022. The abstract submission page is
already open. Please consult the Abstract Submission Guidelines on the conference
website and submit your abstract at https://mentallexicon.artsrn.ualberta.ca/

Up-to-date information can be found at the conference website
https://mentallexicon.artsrn.ualberta.ca/ or you can contact us by email at
mentallexicon2022@gmail.com

We are hoping to see you in Niagara-on-the-Lake in October!

Organizers: Lori Buchanan, Victor Kuperman, Gary Libben

SOME LINKS TO THE VENUE:
Here is a link to the Conference Venue (Queen’s Landing Hotel)
http://www.vintage-hotels.com/queenslanding/


Here is a link to a Niagara-on-the-Lake tourism website
http://www.niagarafallstourism.com/about/niagara-on-the-lake/

Here is a link to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Shaw theatre festival
http://www.shawfest.com/

Two postdoctoral positions: cognitive neuroscience of language and concepts (Concordia University, Montreal)

Two postdoctoral positions are sought for the Psycholinguistics and Cognition Lab, in the Department of Psychology at Concordia University in Montreal. Position one is open to a variety of topics and techniques fitting the research themes of the lab. Position two is funded by a Horizontal Postdoctoral Fellowship and is tied to a particular topic within the semantics/pragmatics interface. Please see below for full descriptions.

POSITION 1

Research program title: The mapping between linguistic and conceptual representations

Reference number:  32022

Supervisor:  Roberto G. de Almeida, Department of Psychology, Concordia University

Program description:

We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow to work on projects investigating the mapping between linguistic and conceptual representations, employing a variety of experimental techniques. Projects include the representation of verb meaning, visual word recognition, category-specific semantic deficits, and the mapping between words and objects, as well as between sentences and events/dynamic scenes. Candidates should have a strong background in cognitive science and expertise in behavioral and/or neuroimaging techniques employed in psycholinguistics and cognitive neuroscience. Candidates with experience conducting research with clinical populations (e.g., aphasia, agnosia) are also encouraged to apply.

For ongoing projects in the lab please see https://psycholinguistics.weebly.com

This position is supported by grants from SSHRC and NSERC. The position is for one year with the possibility of renewal. Salary will be commensurate with experience. Review of applications will begin on February 15, 2022. Starting date: flexible but no later than August 31, 2022.

Requirements and instructions for applying are provided below and are similar for both positions. Candidates should make sure to include the reference number in the application materials and provide the application number to referees.

POSITION 2

Research program title: The neurocognitive bases of semantic and pragmatic composition

Reference number: 10002b

Supervisor: Roberto G. de Almeida, Department of Psychology, Concordia University

Program description:

We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow to work on projects investigating the comprehension of sentences that are either ‘indeterminate’ or are deemed ‘figurative’, and thus may require contextual enrichment. The projects employ diverse behavioural and neuro-imaging techniques as well as computational modelling. Ideally the candidate will have theoretical background in cognitive science with emphasis on semantics/pragmatics and with experimental work in brain-imaging/recording (fMRI, ERP) techniques.

Experience with computational modeling involving Recurrent  Neural Networks (RNN) is an asset. Other resources (e.g., clinical populations, MEG, eye-tracking) are also available at Concordia or other institutions in the Montreal area.

Academic qualifications required:

PhD in Psychology, Neuroscience, or other Cognitive Science related field.

Horizon Postdoctoral Fellow Eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must not currently hold a postdoctoral appointment at Concordia
  • Priority will be given to postdoctoral fellows who have obtained their PhD from another university although in exceptional cases Concordia graduates may be considered
  • Applicants must adhere to the postdoctoral fellow eligibility criteria outlined in Concordia University’s Postdoctoral Policy

Timeline:

Applications will be reviewed starting February 15 and will continue until the position is filled; starting date is flexible, preferably in the Spring or early Summer 2022; however, following the fellowship rules, the Horizon Postdoctoral Fellow must start their appointment by August 31, 2022.

Value: The prestigious two-year Horizon Postdoctoral Fellowships are valued at $50,000 per year plus benefits and full access to Concordia’s services, including GradProSkills.

https://www.concordia.ca/sgs/postdoctoral-fellows/funding/horizon/descriptions/10002.html

Submission process for both positions:  

All documents must be submitted to Roberto G. de Almeida (roberto.dealmeida@concordia.ca); subject line: postdoctoral application (10002b) or (32022).

Please include the reference number with your application.

Application checklist for both positions:

  • One to three (1-3) page research statement demonstrating fit with one of the programs described above
  • Current curriculum vitae demonstrating research excellence and a capacity for leadership in the domain (maximum 5 pages)
  • Two letters of reference from academic supervisors or current employers to be sent via e-mail directly to: Roberto G. de Almeida (roberto.dealmeida@concordia.ca); subject line: postdoctoral application reference ((32022) or (10002b))

Concordia University is a vibrant research and teaching environment, with state-of-the-art research facilities and many research centers. Concordia is located in Montreal, Canada, a diverse and creative city, often ranked as offering one of the best quality of living experiences in North America. Concordia University is committed to Employment Equity and encourages applications from women, Aboriginal Peoples, visible minorities, ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities.

Registration open for WOW2021 Conference

Registration for the Words in the World 2021 conference is now open! The conference will take place online November 26-27, 2021, and will use Zoom for presentations and gather.town for poster sessions. All are welcome to attend and registration is free. The schedule will be posted in early November, and will be announced on this website.

Fill out the registration form to join: https://forms.gle/C8y5fxQ9YnH8Gnz48

PhD Positions (2): Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Dr. Fritz Günther is looking for PhD students to join the DFG-funded research group “What’s in a name?” at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in the Department of Psychology.

The aim of this project is to examine why individuals pick certain names instead of others when naming (new) objects or concepts are the subsequent consequences of those choices. This will be investigated from a computational as well as cognitive perspective, combining methods and approaches from computational linguistics/NLP, cognitive science, and experimental (social) psychology.

Successful applicants will have a strong background in computational linguistics/NLP and genuine interest in cognitive science, or a strong background in cognitive science/psychology and solid base of computational skills. Ideal candidates have a degree in a relevant scientific field, such as computer science, computational linguistics, NLP, cognitive modelling, cognitive science, experimental psychology, or social psychology. Coding experience (for example, in R, MATLAB, Python, or C++) is expected.

For more information about how to apply, view the announcement here: https://www.personalabteilung.hu-berlin.de/de/stellenausschreibungen/research-fellow-m-f-d-with-part-time-employment-75-e-13-tv-l-hu-thirdparty-funding-fixed-term-until-30-11-2024

and the full call for PhD students here (pdf): https://www.lingexp.uni-tuebingen.de/z2/Call_PhD%20students_v3.pdf

Applications are due by November 3, 2021.

CfP: 20th International Morphology Meeting

The 20th International Morphology Meeting will take place from 1 September to 4 September 2022 in Budapest, organised by the Hungarian Research Centre for Linguistics.

The meeting will serve as an event commemorating the late Prof. Ferenc Kiefer, one of the ‘founding fathers’ of the IMM series, who passed away in December 2020.

Workshops
As a tradition of IMMs, there will be two or three accompanying workshops adjoined to the main session of the conference, for which we are expecting proposals from prospective conveners. Thematic proposals for these workshops are welcome by September 30, 2021.

Abstracts
2-page abstracts for 20-minute presentations (plus 10 minutes for discussion) or a poster should be submitted via the meeting’s online services in EasyChair. Submission is limited to one individual and one joint authorship abstract (or two joint authorship ones) per person.

For more information on submissions, check the official website: http://www.nytud.hu/imm20/

Deadline for submission of abstracts: January 15, 2022

Notification of acceptance of abstracts: May 31, 2022

CfP: Morphology in Production and perception: Phonetics, phonology and spelling of complex words

Conference: Morphology in production and perception: Phonetics, phonology and spelling of complex words

Date: February 7-9, 2022

Organizer: Ingo Plag, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany

Aims and Scope

Recent research on the production and comprehension of morphologically complex words in speech and writing has shown that morphological structure may influence their phonology, articulation, acoustics and spelling. So far, the range of investigated phenomena and languages is still small. Nevertheless, the results obtained so far pose serious challenges for current theories of phonology-morphology interaction, of the mental lexicon and of language production, perception and comprehension. The following questions are at the center of the debate:

  •  How does morphological structure affect the articulatory, acoustic, orthographic and phonological properties of complex words?
  • Seen from the reverse angle, what do the phonological, phonetic and orthographic properties of complex words reveal about morphological structure?
  • What are the implications of the answers to the above questions for theories and models in these domains?
  • We invite contributions on the articulation, acoustics, phonology and spelling of complex words that address the above-mentioned questions.

Plenary speakers

Sonja Kandel
Janet Pierrehumbert
Patrycja Strycharczuk

Presentations and Abstracts

There will be 30-minute slots for oral presentations (20-minute talk + 10-minute Q&A) and two poster sessions.

Please submit anonymized abstracts electronically in PDF format through the EasyChair system by November 1, 2021:

https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=mpp2022

Abstracts should be at most one page long, plus references on the second page, on A4 paper with 1-inch margins on all sides, and must be set in Times New Roman font of at least 11 points. In the submission form, please indicate whether you want your abstract considered for a talk, poster, or both.

Important dates
Abstract submission: November 1, 2021
Notification of acceptance: November 15, 2021

The conference is planned as an off-line event, with participants being physically present. This may be subject to change, depending on the COVID-19 situation.

In the case of an off-line event, the conference organizers will cover the hotel costs of the participants who present a paper (up to four nights, at the HK Hotel, www.hk-hotels-duesseldorf.de)

Conference website: https://mpp2022.phil.hhu.de/

This conference is partially funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG Research Unit FOR2373 ‘Spoken Morphology’

June 22 Open Office Hour: Computational Linguistics in the Industrial Setting

Who: Dr. Fermín Moscoso del Prado
What: Computational Linguistics in the Industrial Setting
When: June 22, 2021 at 12pm EDT (GMT -4)
Where: Zoom

We are now happy to announce the third talk in our series, “Computational Linguistics in the Industrial Setting,” which will be delivered by Fermín Moscoso del Prado on Tuesday, June 22 at 12pm (EST, GMT -4).

Students coming out of graduate programmes in Cognitive Psychology or Linguistics often have very valuable skills to work in industry in the field of data science. There are now abundant and well-paid jobs in this sector across the world. Among the skills that are crucial for success in this field, it is important to have a good knowledge of statistical analyses and machine learning techniques plus some computer programming skills, typically with Python or R. This talk will include discussion of what additional skills and areas of knowledge can help students wishing to go into the data science industry, including a brief overview of types of jobs, career structure, and nomenclature.

Fermín Moscoso del Prado is the Lead Scientist at Lingvist Technologies OÜ, in charge of developing algorithms for improving human vocabulary learning, automatic construction of language course materials, and general data analysis. He holds an M.Eng. in Computer Science specializing in Artificial Intelligence, a Ph.D. in Linguistics (with focus on computational psycholinguistics), and had post-doctoral training in Cognitive Neuroscience.

The meeting will be held using Zoom. Please note that the meeting is password protected and will require a simple pre-registration. If you know somebody who may wish to join, they may contact us or use the Words in the World website in order to be added to the mailing list at https://wordsintheworld.ca/home/open-office-hours/sign-up-for-open-office-hours/.

May 25 Open Office Hour: Language Issues in the Canadian Forces

What: Language Issues in the Canadian Forces
When: May 25, 2021 at 12pm EDT (GMT -4)
Where: Zoom

We are now delighted to announce the second talk in our Open Office Hours: Building Bridges series, “Education & Language Applications in the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre,” which will be presented by Sandra Plante on Tuesday, May 18 at 12pm (EST, GMT -4).

The Canadian Armed Forces recruits its members from the ethnically and linguistically diverse Canadian population.  In the Health Services branch, this inevitably creates challenges for francophone and allophone health care professionals in transitioning their skills to the unique military environment. This presentation will discuss some of the language-based challenges and successes we have experienced, and where we still need to improve.

Sandra Plante is the Program Evaluator for the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre, evaluating the efficacy and efficiency of training programs for Health Care professionals within the Defence Team. She has over 30 years of experience in National Defence and holds a Bachelor of Education in Adult Education with a specialization in Psychology, and a Master of Education specializing in Education and Digital Technologies.

The meeting will be held using Zoom. Please note that the meeting is password protected and will require a simple pre-registration so that only persons who have received this link may join. If you know somebody who may wish to join, they may contact us or use the Words in the World website in order to be added to the mailing list at https://wordsintheworld.ca/home/open-office-hours/sign-up-for-open-office-hours/.

April 27 Open Office Hour: Intellectual Property and Commercialization

What: Words in the World Open Office Hour — Bradley McLean — Intellectual Property and Commercialization
When: April  27, 12:00 – 1:00 pm Eastern Time (GMT -4)

We are delighted to introduce Season 2 of our Words in the World Open Office Hours: Building Bridges. This season will highlight the diverse range of spheres to which language researchers can bring their skills and knowledge.

Bradley McLean, Associate Director of Innovation & Commercialization at Brock University, will kick off the new season on April 27 at 12pm (EST, GMT-4). He will provide an overview of intellectual property (patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, industrial designs) and present a model for commercialization that can be applied to your research, whether it has commercial applications or not. The presentation will include examples of resources available to assist you with intellectual property, commercialization, and bridging with industry/community for collaborations, and will be followed by a Q&A session.

Bradley McLean leads the Innovation & Commercialization team in the Office of Research Services at Brock University where he and his group support commercialization of Brock research, facilitate partnerships, and connect industry members or community groups with Brock researchers, and is an integral part of the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Niagara. Brad completed a PhD in Biotechnology at the Michael Smith Laboratory at UBC and worked for a decade in the biotechnology industry before being recruited to join Brock University’s commercialization team.

The meeting will be held using Zoom. Please note that the meeting is password protected and will require a simple pre-registration to receive the login information. To be added to the mailing list and receive this information, sign up at https://wordsintheworld.ca/home/open-office-hours/sign-up-for-open-office-hours/.

Cognitive Science of Language lecture series: Dr. Marco Marelli (Jan. 25, 2021)

Who: Marco Marelli (University of Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy) www.marcomarelli.net

What: Compositional effects in the processing of compound words: A computational perspective grounded in linguistic and visual experience

When: Monday January 25, 2021; 2:30-4:20 pm EST

Where: Zoom

Registration: https://mcmaster.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAlduyqrzMqG9HnqMOA1s0NZLhGj-bf2xtU 

McMaster’s Department of Linguistics and Languages invites you to the next talk in the Cognitive Science of Language lecture series. The lecture will be delivered online by Dr. Marco Marelli. Dr. Marelli is an associate professor of General Psychology at the University of Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy. His work focuses on the psychology of language, and in particular on the impact of semantics on word processing and the interface between language and the conceptual system. His more recent research projects combine methods from experimental psychology and computational modelling and are dedicated to compositionality (at the level of both phrases and morphologically complex words) and the interplay between linguistic, emotional and perceptual experience in conceptual processes. He is an associate editor of Behavior Research Methods and a consulting editor of Morphology. 

The talk is free but participants must register. Registration link can be found here:  https://mcmaster.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAlduyqrzMqG9HnqMOA1s0NZLhGj-bf2xtU

Please make sure to register in advance. For logistic reasons the registration for this event will only be reviewed until 2pm on the event date.  

Abstract:  

Since the seminal LSA proposal (Landauer & Dumais, 1997) distributional semantics has provided efficient data-driven models of the human semantic system, representing word meaning through vectors recording lexical co-occurrences in large text corpora. However, these approaches generate static descriptions of the semantic system, falling short of capturing the highly dynamical interactions occurring at the meaning level during language processing. 

In the present work, I discuss the CAOSS model (Compounding as Abstract Operations in Semantic Space), a first step in this direction that moves from distributional semantics to capture the meaning of compound words (Marelli et al., 2017). 

In CAOSS, word meanings are represented as vectors encoding lexical co-occurrences in a reference corpus (e.g., the meaning of “snow” will be based on how often “snow” appears with the other words), according to the tenets of distributional semantics. A compositional procedure is induced as a weighted sum: given two vectors (constituent words) u and v, their composed representation (the compound) can be computed as c=M*u+H*v, where M and H are weight matrices estimated from corpus examples. The matrices are trained using least squares regression, having the vectors of the constituents as independent words (“car” and “wash”,  “rail” and ”way”) as inputs and the vectors of example compounds (“carwash”, “railway”) as outputs, so that the similarity between M*u+H*v and c is maximized. In other words, the matrices are defined in order to recreate the compound examples as accurately as possible. Once the two weight matrices are estimated, they can be applied to any word pair in order to obtain meaning representations for untrained word combinations (e.g., “snow building”). 

In a series of behavioral experiments, model predictions were tested against psycholinguistic data. CAOSS is shown to mirror evidence related to the processing of novel compounds (Marelli et al., 2017; Günther & Marelli, 2020), and in particular the impact of relational information (Gagné, 2001; Gagné & Shoben, 2007) as well as the “morpheme interference effect” (Crepaldi et al., 2010). Moreover, CAOSS also provides a central contribution to the understanding of semantic transparency in familiar compounds: CAOSS estimates are shown to best characterize the transparency impact in word processing (Günther & Marelli, 2019). Finally, I discuss how CAOSS is not to be considered a “disembodied model”, since one can easily ground it in perception by feeding it images together with text data (Günther et al., 2020). 

The model simulations indicate that compositionality-related phenomena are reflected in language statistics. Human speakers are able to learn these aspects from language experience and automatically apply them to the processing of any word combination. The present model is flexible enough to emulate this procedure, predicting sensible relational similarities for novel compounds and correctly capturing the contribution to semantic transparency provided by compositional operations. The model is also shown to generalize to other kind of data, being able to capture the contribution of perceptual experience in the internal dynamics of compound-word processing. Such evidence directly links linguistic composition to conceptual combination, speaking for the possible role of general-level learning procedures at the foundations of both phenomena.