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Empirical Results on Morphological Convergence in English

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  • UserDr. Péter Rácz (Central European University, Budapest University of Technology, University of Canterbury).
  • ClockThursday 21 October 2021, 16:30-18:00
  • HouseOnline.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Onkar Singh.

Convergence to the interlocutor is a fundamental aspect of human communication and the linchpin of linguistic coordination. Its mechanics and long-term effects are well-understood in some domains, like phonetics or syntactic variation, and much less clearly in others, like word-formation.

In this talk, I report on the results on the first large-scale experiment on morphological convergence, using everyone’s favourite variable word-formation pattern, the English past tense. These results show that morphological convergence is not confined to the adaptation of specific word forms or the adjustment of the overall rate of use for a specific affix. Instead, it reflects a richly-detailed mental lexicon that plays an important role in how words are processed and represented in the human brain.

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Linguistic Society (LingSoc) series.

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