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State-of-the-Art Lecture Series Presents Rochelle Lieber April 5

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Rochelle Lieber, professor of English, will present the lecture “The State of the Word: Words and the Human Mind” Thursday, April 5 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Squamscott Room, Holloway Commons. The talk begins with a reception and concludes with a question and answer session.

Our recently gained ability to mine vast corpora, or computerized databases of written and spoken language, allows us to watch the formation of new words in real time. What we find suggests the way linguists have viewed the mental lexicon (the way words are represented in the human mind) in recent years may be somewhat off the mark. With the Chomskian revolution of the mid-20th century, many linguists focused on syntax, the study of how an infinite number of sentences can be generated from a finite set of rules that are part of a ‘language organ’ in the human mind. Morphology, the study of word formation, came to be viewed on the model of syntax, as a system of rules that form the mental lexicon. The study of corpus data has called that model into question and has led us to question how words really are formed and stored in the human mind.

The State-of-the-Art Lecture Series is designed to share exciting and current developments in a variety of fields with the UNH community. Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, The Humanities Program and The UNH Faculty Senate.