Symposium on Language and Perception
The symposium will be held Monday, April 4, 2005, from 12:00-2:00 PM in the
Dogwood Room of the Indiana Memorial Union.
Language has frequently been characterized as a system with terms that
get their meaning solely from their relations to other terms within the same system.
By this account, language is viewed as a closed system with little contact to
the world. In contrast, there has been considerable recent interest in grounding
language in human perceptual and motor systems, and also rekindling the notion
that our perceptions and actions may be influenced by language. The three panelists
in this symposium will disucss the bidirectional interactions between language
and perception. Topics that will likely be covered include:
- How does language affect what are normally considered to be lower-level
perceptual and motor processes?
- Is language best conceptualized as a symbolic system in which terms derive
all of their meaning from their relations to one another?
- How does the language we acquire augment our ability to represent, reason
about, and computationally process our world?
- How do our perceptual abilities shape language processes normally considered
to be arbitrary or ungrounded?
- How much of our language is perceptually grounded? How else can elements
of our language get their meaning?
- How are the various components of language (word meanings, sounds, and grammatical
constructions) influenced by perceptual and action processes? How do these
same components influence perceptual and conceptual processes?
Lera Boroditsky, Assistant
Professor of Psychology, Stanford University
Stevan Harnad, Canada Research
Chair and Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal
Chancellor’s Professor of Psychology, Indiana University
Organizer: Robert Goldstone
Sponsor: The Indiana University
Cognitive Science Program
12:00-12:30 - Lera Boroditsky, "From Perception to Language and Back
12:30-1:00 – Stevan Harnad, “How to Get Off the Chinese/Chinese
1:00-1:30 – Linda Smith, "On the inseparability of language and
1:30-2:00 – open discussion