At this week’s MCQLL meeting on Tuesday, October 4 from 15h00 – 16h00, Michaela Socolof and Laurestine Bradford will each give a talk about their current work. Abstracts of the talks follow.Meetings will be hybrid in-person and on Zoom. We’ll be meeting in person in room 117 of the McGill Linguistics department at 1085 Dr Penfield. If you’d like to attend virtually, Zoom meetings will be held here.

Michaela Socolof: Partial information decomposition and compositionality

Abstract: Partial information decomposition (PID) is an information-theoretic framework for decomposing mutual information; this talk will discuss its potential for quantifying compositionality. I’ll begin by presenting the results of a study applying PID to the morphology domain by studying the task of quantifying fusionality, then discuss avenues for extending this approach to the word and phrase domain.

Laurestine Bradford: Towards a Compositional Semantics for Dependency Syntax

Abstract: A language’s syntax tends be documented before its semantics, but syntactic structures themselves already contain information about meaning. So, if we could find a way to easily extract the meaning from syntactic relationships, it could speed up the process of discovering the associated compositional semantic structures in a language. In this talk, I will present ongoing work attempting to find systematic mappings between Universal Dependencies (a massively cross-linguistic dependency syntax annotation scheme) and meaning structures. In particular, I will present promising directions in the treatment of determiners and verb argument structure.