- Language acquisition and language change
- Linguistic typology and universals
- Theoretical syntax and morphology
- Computational models of language learning and change
- Artificial language learning and grammaticality judgments
Ongoing Projects please see my CV for a full list of publications/talks related to each project.
Learning biases and typological universals of (morpho)syntax
This project uses laboratory learning experiments to investigate the psychological reality of typological universals. The major goals are (1) connect statistical universals to probabilistic learning biases, (2) show empirically that learners shift languages toward preferred patterns, (3) model learning in Bayesian and HG frameworks.
- Culbertson, J., P. Smolensky and C. Wilson. (2013). Cognitive Biases, Linguistic Universals, and Constraint-Based Grammar Learning. Topics in Cognitive Science.
- Culbertson, J. and P. Smolensky. (2012). A Bayesian model of biases in artificial language learning: The case of a word-order universal. Cognitive Science. (Supplementary material)
- Culbertson, J., P. Smolensky and G. Legendre. (2012). Learning biases predict a word order universal. Cognition.
- Culbertson, J. (2010). Learning biases, regularization, and the emergence of typological universals in syntax. Ph.D. Dissertation, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
- Culbertson, J. (2012). Prefixal agreement and impersonal 'il' in Spoken French: Experimental evidence . Journal of French Language Studies.
- Culbertson, J. (2010). Covergent evidence for categorial change in French: from subject clitic to agreement marker. Language
- Culbertson, J., and G. Legendre. (2008). Qu'en est-il des clitiques sujet en français oral contemporain? In Proceedings of the 1er Congrès mondial de linguistique française
Acquisition of French subject clitics
& agreement morphology
This project is a collaboration with Dr. Géraldine Legendre, Thierry Nazzi, and a number of other collaborators aimed at investigating how young French children learn subject pronouns and other markers of agreement morphology.
- Gonzalez-Gomez, N., Hsin, L., Culbertson, J., Barrière, Nazzi, T, and G. Legendre. (2013). Revealing Early Comprehension of Subject-Verb Agreement in Spanish. Proceedings of BUCLD 38.
- Culbertson, J. Legendre, G., Gonzalez-Gomez, N., and T. Nazzi. (2012). Evolving sensitivity to French prefixal subject-verb agreement. Talk given at ISIS XVII, Minneapolis, MN.
- Legendre, G., J. Culbertson, I. Barrière, T. Nazzi, and L. Goyet. (2010). Experimental and empirical evidence for the status and acquisition of subject clitics and agreement marking in adult and child Spoken French. Movement and Clitics.
Acceptability Judgments of Linguists vs. Non-linguistics
This project is a collaboration with Dr. Steven Gross at Johns Hopkins, aimed at addressing whether the acceptability judgments of training linguists are superior, in some sense, to judgments given by those with little or no linguistics training. We present empirical evidence suggesting that the relevant divide is not between linguists and non-linguists, but between subjects with and without minimally sufficient task-specific knowledge.
- Gross, S. & J. Culbertson. (2011). Revisited Linguistic Intuitions. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62, 639-656.
- Culbertson, J., and S. Gross. (2009). Are Linguists Better Subjects?. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60, 721-736. Test sentences used in this paper are available [HERE]
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