The Norwegian Summer Institute on Language and Mind

July 30, 2019 - August 9, 2019
Humanities Faculty, University of Oslo

Seminar room 1 (‘Undervisningsrom 1’), Sophus Bugges building
Blindern Campus, University of Oslo

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


  • Norwegian Graduate Researcher School in Linguistics and Philology

All speakers:

University of Oslo
University College London
Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
Johns Hopkins University
University of Oslo
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Maryland, College Park


University of Oslo
Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
University of Oslo
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
University of Maryland, College Park

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A summer course in linguistics and philosophy in Norway

Tuesday 30th July (9.30 am) – Friday 9th August (1 pm), 2019
University of Oslo, Blindern campus; Seminar room 1 (‘Undervisningsrom 1’), Sophus Bugges building


Nicholas Allott (University of Oslo)
Robyn Carston (University College London)
Stephen Crain (Macquarie University)
Anna Drożdżowicz (University of Oslo)
Steven Gross (Johns Hopkins University)
Carsten Hansen (University of Oslo)
Terje Lohndal (NTNU, Trondheim, & UiT The Arctic University of Norway)
Michael Rescorla (University of California, Los Angeles)
Georges Rey (University of Maryland at College Park)
Rosalind Thornton (Macquarie University)

What is the summer institute and who is it for?

The institute brings graduate students (MA-level and doctoral researchers) from around the world up to date with developments in work on language and mind by presenting classes with leading researchers in the relevant fields. These include linguists, psychologists and other cognitive scientists open to philosophical issues, and philosophers focused on linguistics and the cognitive sciences. One of the key aims of the summer institute is to foster connections between students in all these areas.

The summer institute focusses on work that is committed to: i) realism about the mental representations postulated in theories of language and communication, perception and other mental faculties; ii) exploring the consequences of such realism. We therefore aim for a balance between theoretical and experimental topics. The theoretical work presented is carefully chosen to prioritise research that is in dialogue with experimental and developmental work and work on processing. Likewise, we choose experimental work that has interesting consequences for higher-level theories.

The teaching

Classes are from Tuesday – Saturday and then Monday – Friday.

The first day will have introductory lectures to get everyone up to speed with the relevant parts of linguistics, philosophy and psychology.

For the rest of the course, days will include 90 minute classes on each of the three "strands" (see below). Teaching will be discursive, with plenty of time for questions and answers in each class.

There will also be two round-table discussion sessions, where we will discuss issues across the strands, guided by student questions.

We are also planning to have a student poster session, where you can present your own work.

Lectures Words and concepts

Invited Lecturers: Robyn Carston (UCL) and one other to be confirmed

Lecturer/convenor: Nicholas Allott

Topics to be confirmed, but are likely to include: the relationship between language and thought; lexical semantics, concepts and the semantics-pragmatics interface; polysemy; metonymy

The acquisition of linguistic structure and meaning

Invited Lecturers: Stephen Crain (Macquarie University) and Rosalind Thornton (Macquarie University)

Lecturer/convenor: Terje Lohndal

Topics to include: children’s acquisition of hard-to-observe properties such as disjunction, quantifiers and scope, negation, long-distance dependencies. The interplay between nature and nurture in language acquisition, child language experiments and design.

Investigating the language faculty and other mental faculties

Invited Lecturers: Steven Gross (Johns Hopkins) and Michael Rescorla (UCLA)

Internal lecturer(s): Carsten Hansen and/or Georges Rey

Lecturer/convenor: Anna Drożdżowicz

Topics to be confirmed, but could include: The Computational Theory of Mind; levels of computational explanation; non-propositional mental representation; the role of intuitions and other data in linguistics, with coverage of both theoretical and experimental work; the use of artificial languages in work on language acquisition; cognitive penetrability in theories of mental faculties; Bayesian modelling of the mind (especially perception, motor control, and navigation)

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April 16, 2019, 7:45pm CET

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Chuyu Tian

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