Our research explores how speakers produce words and sentences. Specifically, we are interested in the processes of lexical retrieval (finding words), constructing sentences (lining words up in the right order), and making grammatical decisions.
I am interested in areas of syntactic variation that lie at the center of work on Universal Grammar. I am specifically concerned with the functional categories of Tense and Voice, with how Case systems work, and with the conceptual structure of predicates.More about Professor Lavine
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Why do different peoples speak different languages? Do we think differently depending on the language we speak? Are humans the only species that can talk?
Explore these questions by examining the general principles governing the organization, emergence and use of language, and look at how languages vary across space and time.
Linguists treat language as a natural object, like other cognitive faculties, using it as a natural point of entry into scientific discovery and the tools of scientific reasoning -- such as pattern recognition, experimental design, and hypothesis construction and testing. Linguistics serves as a "bridge" discipline between the sciences and the humanities, since language is at the center of humanistic inquiry, from philosophy and history to literary theory and language and cultural studies.
Linguistics is the study of the human language faculty. It requires the investigation of a highly structured system of knowledge within the mind of the speaker (a mental grammar), which is examined empirically and modeled formally.
Linguistic courses at Bucknell address the following universal questions of human nature:
Are humans the only species that can talk?
What is special about human being that demands meaning and means of self-expression?
How did languages originally emerge?
204 Coleman Hall
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