Keynote Speaker

Prof. Dr. Sergey Avrutin
Department of Modern Languages, Utrecht University, Netherland

Dr. Sergey Avrutin is a Professor of Comparative Pycholinguistics at the Department of Modern Languages. From 2000 to 2005 he was the program leader of the NWO-sponsored PIONEER research program Comparative Psycholinguistics. His research focuses on normal child language development and language impairment (aphasia) with special emphasis on the syntax-discourse interface and the application of information theory to the analyses of errors in child and aphasic speech as well as special registers (e.g. newspaper headlines, TV commentators, etc.) Among other things, he is a member of the editorial board of Language Acquisition, Journal of Neurolinguistics and has edited a special issue of Brain and Language.

Speech Title: Physical Linguistics: Language and Information

Abstract: The attempts to apply information theory to the study of language have been around for almost 70 years, and they have been rightfully criticized for their failure to account for all the intricacies of the human generative capacity. Recently, researchers had a fresh look on the usefulness of the information theory in linguistics, this time by considering properties of the physical and biological systems responsible for connecting sound and meaning.

In this talk, I present results of several experimental studies, together with a new theoretical framework, that attempt to explain variety of data from language processing and learning in typical and impaired (aphasia) populations in terms of Shannon's information theory. The experimental results suggest that information theory is a useful scientific tool for explaining development and disruption of human linguistic capacity, and that its application may eventually allow researchers to bridge the gap between physics and linguistics thus addressing the famous Unification Problem of cognitive science.

Plenary Speaker

Prof. Yılmaz Kılıçaslan
Department of Computer Engineering, Adnan Menderes University, Turkey

Yılmaz Kılıçaslan is a professor at the Department of Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Trakya University, Turkey. In 1992, he got his B.Sc. degree in computer science from the Middle East Technical University, Turkey, and then he received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in cognitive science from the Centre for Cognitive Science and Natural Languages, Division of Informatics, the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1994 and 1998, respectively. His research interests are cognitive linguistics, computational linguistics, natural language processing and machine learning. He has authored papers in refereed journals and international conference proceedings, and has been actively serving as a reviewer for international journals and conferences.

Speech Title: The Lattice of Thematic Roles

Abstract: A theoretical position that treats thematic roles as atomic and distinct elements of a finite set is tenable neither empirically nor conceptually. I offer an argument based on linguistic observations and conceptual analyses that reveal that commonly used thematic roles have much to share among themselves. More specifically, I endeavor to demonstrate that thematic roles are intrinsically organized in a fractal lattice structure.

Prof. Dr. Tatiana Ivushkina
English Department No. 3 at MGIMO, Moscow, Russia

Tatiana Ivushkina is a Professor at Moscow State Institute of Foreign Affairs (MGIMO-University), Russia. She got her Candidate degree (PhD) in Philology from Moscow State University for the thesis "Stylization in Modern English Literature Speech Portrayals"and Doctoral degree (advanced PhD) from Moscow State University for the thesis «Socio-linguistic Aspects of English Speech Development (in speech portrayals of the upper classes of Great Britain in the 19-20th c. English Literature)».

Her research interests are social linguistics, stylistics, stylization in speech portrayals, upper-class speech, English & American literature and culture, innovative methods of teaching and intercultural communication. She is an executive secretary and editor of the journal "Philology at MGIMO" and author of articles in refereed journals and international conference proceedings.

Speech Title: Words as Indices of Social and Cultural Identity

Abstract: The paper focuses on words, which alongside with their denotations reflect meanings of social, cultural and historical levels and serve as signs of identity. These words used in literature to depict the upper classes of Great Britain can be grouped into five clusters. The first includes proper names of upper class educational institutions or districts known for their most expensive properties, also words that denote the highest ranks of society, and proper names of the Royal family members and their circle. The second class of words is made up of words - allusions, which are the names of authors, books and reference books depicting the lifestyle and history of the upper classes and underlying their social and cultural codes. Another group of words reflect social signs of the upper class standing by non-verbal, visual means - appearance and clothing or fabrics of which clothing is made. In a separate cluster are social events and all attributes accompanying them. Cluster five words characterize voice and manner of speaking which unequivocally reveal social identity.