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Explain Me This

Adele Goldberg, Psychology

February 15, 2019 · 1:30 pm3:00 pm · 1-S-5 Green Hall

Program in Linguistics

Adele Goldberg will talk about her new book Explain Me This (Princeton University Press, 2019).

Language users aim to convey their intended messages by selecting a combination of appropriate forms while conforming to the conventions of their community. To do this,  learners need to learn the way that forms and functions are conventionally related: we need to learn a rich network of words and multi-word constructions that are conditioned by a wide array of rich conceptual, contextual, and social factors.  Because we commonly encounter contexts that we have not witnessed before, we need to creatively extend familiar constructions for use in new contexts.  Goldberg argues that regularizations and conservative learning and overextensions and creativity and L2 errors all stem from the same process: failing to access the best (combination of) constructions and therefore using a  “good-enough” option.

Watch the video about the book here.


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