Three equations: A formalist perspective on language acquisition. Target article with peer commentary and reply. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism. (Models of language acquisition for both children and adults)
The linguistic origin of the next number. An unpublished MS that includes some other people's unpublished data (since published). No changes have been made to include new developments including this figure on English-learning children's counting range (courtesy Rose Schneider).
The growth of language: Universal grammar, experience, and principles of efficient computation.
(With Stephen Crain, Robert Berwick, Noam Chomsky, and Johan Bolhuis.
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review (special issue on the biology of
(2017) How to wake up irregular (and speechless). In Bowern, Horn, Zanuttini (eds.) On looking into words (and beyond). (Tribute to Stephen R. Anderson, who gave me my first linguistics job.)
(2017) When nobody wins With Kyle Gorman.
To appear in Franz Rainer, Francesco Gardani, Hans Christian Luschützky
and Wolfgang U. Dressler (ed)., Competition in inflection and word
formation. Dordrecht: Springer. (This paper refines and extends some
analyses of paradigmatic gaps in POP and supercedes the earlier 2012 work below with Preys and Browczyk.
(2017) How to make the most out of very little. In honor of Lila Gleitman. To appear in Topics in Cognitive Science.
(2016) Learning datives: The Tolerance Principle in L1 and L2 acquisition. (With Silvina Montrul). Second Language Research.
(2016) Testing the Tolerance Principle: Children form productive rules when it is more computationally efficient to do so. (With Kathryn Schuler and Elissa Newport). To appear in Cogsci society meeting.
(2016) The pursuit of word meanings. (With Jon Stevens, Lila Gleitman, and John Trueswell). In press in Cognitive Science.
(2017) Rage against the machine: Evaluation Metrics in the 21st century. To appear in Language Acqusition.
evidence that a child can create a combinatorial linguistic system
without linguistic input: Implications for language evolution. (With Susan Goldin-Meadow) Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review (special issue on the biology of language)
(2015) Input and its structural description.In 50 years later: Reflections on Chomsky's Aspects. (With Julie Anne Legate and Allison Ellman)
(2015) Negative knowledge from positive evidence. Language
(2015) For and against frequencies. Comments on Ambridge et al. J. Child Language
(2014) Hauser, M.D.; Yang, C.; Berwick, R.; Tattersall, I.; Ryan, M.; Watumull, J.; Chomsky, N.; Lewontin, R. The mystery of language evolution. Frontiers in Language Science.
(2014). Richie, R, Yang, C. & Coppola, M. Modeling the Emergence of Lexicons in Homesign Systems. Topics in Cognitive Science: 6, 183-195.
misrepresentations: Reply to Levinson (2013, Language).
(With Julie Anne Legate & David
Pesetsky). To appear in Language.
(2013) Who's afraid of George Kingsley Zipf? Significance: The Magazine of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Soceity. Dec. 29-34.
(2013) Ontogeny and Phylogeny of
the Emergence of Lexicons in Homesign Systems. (With Russell
Richie & Marie Coppola). Journal version to appear in Topics in Cognitive Science. Winner
of the best computational modeling paper at 2013 Cognitive Science
Society meeting (Berlin)
(2013) The pursuit of word
meanings. (With Jon Stevens, Lila Gleitman and John
Trueswell). Manuscript; comments welcome.
(2012) Assessing child
and adult grammar. In Berwick &
Piattelli-Palmarini (Eds.) Rich Languages from Poor Inputs.
Oxford: Oxford University Press. (With Julie
Anne Legate) Longer version can be
(2012) Productivity and paradigmatic gaps.
Slides from NELS2012 at CUNY. Joint work with Kyle Gorman,
Jennifer Preys, and Margaret Browczyk.
(2012) Input and Universal Grammar.
Slides from an invited talk at the Second Language Research Forum
(SLRF) at CMU. A tutorial that emphasizes how input
effects in language learning are compatible with, and in
fact favor, Universal Grammar based approaches to language
acquisition. Materials are drawn from my various previous
(2012) Verb islands in
adult and child language. BUCLD Proceedings from the 2011
meeting. (With Alix Kowalski). Prefinal version.
(2011) Usage unevenness in child
language supports grammar productivity. BU Conference on
A statistical test for grammar. ACL CMCL Portland (condensed
version of the 2009 ms). Slides from
(2011) Computational models of
syntactic acquisition.. (In press) WIRE Interdiscriplinary Review: Cognitive Science.
(2009) Three factors in language
special issue on language variation.
(2009) Review of Finite State
Morphology. (With Erwin Chan). Word
(2008) The great number crunch. Journal of Linguistics. 44,
(2007) Morphosyntactic learning and
the development of tense. (With J.A.Legate). A new approach
to Root Infinitives. Language
(2006) Word segmentation: Quick but not
dirty (with T. Gambell). Manuscript, Yale University.
More complete writeup
of the 2004 TICS paper part I: nobody seems to care about part II.
(2005) On productivity. Yearbook
of Language Variation, 5, 333-370.
(2005) The richness of the
poverty of the stimulus. (With J.A.Legate). On the occasion
Happy Golden Anniversary, Generative Syntax: 50 years since Logical Structure of Linguistic
(2004) Universal Grammar,
statistics, or both. Trends
in Cognitive Sciences. 451-456.
(2002) Empirical reassessment of
the poverty stimulus argument. (With J.A.Legate). Linguistic
Review, 19, 151-162.
(2001) Internal and external forces in
language change. Language
Variation and Change. 12, 231-250.
think-thunk. Review of Steven Pinker's Words
and Rules: The ingredients of language. London
Review of Books.
(1999) Estimation of software
reliability by stratified sampling.. ACM
Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology. 8,
(1999) Unordered merge and its
(1993) Partition test, stratified sampling, and cluster analysis. ACM SIGSOFT Proceedings of the 1st ACM SIGSOFT symposium on Foundations of software engineering.
I did my graduate work with Bob
Berwick and Noam
Chomsky in the MIT
an incredibly fun place. I then took up a faculty position in
linguistics and psychology at Yale. I moved to Penn in 2006 to join a
uniquely interdisciplinary community for language and cognitive science (RIP) research.
Ancient Scholarly Activities
Dec. Workshop in honor of Carol Chomsky. MIT.
Oct. Center for Language & Speech Processing (CLSP),
Sept. Input & syntactic acquisition workshop. UC
Aug. Plenary lecture. XIXth International Conference on
Historical Linguistics. Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
May. Workshop on recursion in language and cognition.
May. 20 hour lectures in language acquisition. Graduate
school of linguistics. The Basque Country.
Jan. The Schultink lecture. Holland Graduate School of
Linguistics. Groningen. The Netherlands.
Jan. 5 lectures on the mechanisms of language acquisition.
LOT Winter School. Groningen. The Netherlands.
Dec. CUNY Graduate Center.
Oct. Ikerbasque lecture. The
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, the Basque Country.
July. Workshop on linguistic interface. International
congress of linguistics. Seoul.
June. Workshop on artificial language learning and
computational models. Utrecht, the Netherlands.
June. Workshop on frequency effects in language
acquisition. Wuppertal, Germany.
May. Workshop on productivity and grammar. Tufts.
April. Workshop on morphosyntactic variation. UMass
April Bard College.
Dec. Origin of man and language Workshop. European Science
Nov. Utrecht University, the Netherlands
in language acquisition research (EMLAR)
Nov. Il Dono Infinito. Festival della Scienza. Genoa.
Oct. Workshop on statistics and syntax. MIT.
Oct. UMass, Amherst.
Aug. Workshop on models of language acquisition. Cog Sci
Society Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN.
June. IRCS undergraduate workshop. Penn.
June. Workshop on language variation. Venice.
May. Workshop on syntactic variation. York.
Feb. Panel on models of language change. Penn Linguistics
Erdos number: <=4