Andere: Copies and Language: Insigts from Computational Linguistics
In this talk I show how computational linguistics generates accessible linguistic research questions, the answers to which have the potential to refute popular linguistic theories. Constructions which require grammatical identity ('copy constructions') abound in the languages of the world, but the topic of what counts as a copy has hardly been investigated; indeed, it seems obvious that copies are just, well, copies! Not all 'copies' are created equal, and different mechanisms for generating copies predict wildly divergent outcomes. We will review three such mechanisms, and I will pose simple descriptive questions for fieldwork which will allow the matter to be settled!