2022

Ongoing: We are excited to announce our newly expanded online research. Since last year, we have been working to move our studies with children online to make them more accessible to families who want to participate. Families can now find our studies through Children Helping Science and through our own Online Research website.

September: Anna Papafragou has an invited talk at the Experimental Pragmatics (XPRAG) conference, Pavia, Italy.

July: Many of us will be at the 44th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2022) hosted at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from July 27 - 30. Tyler Knowlton will be giving a talk on joint work with John Trueswell and Anna Papafragou ("A mentalistic semantics explains "each" and "every" quantifier use"). Ugurcan Vurgun will present his poster on joint work with Yue Ji and Anna Papafragou titled, "Linguistic aspect constrains event apprehension", and Yiran Chen will present her poster on joint work with John Trueswell and Anna Papafragou titled, "The Source-Goal asymmetry in motion events: Sources are robustly encoded in memory but overlooked at test". June Choe, Yue Ji, and Martin Ip will also present posters on work with Anna Papafragou. June's poster is titled, "The acquisition of subordinate nouns as pragmatic inference: Semantic alternatives modulate subordinate meanings". Yue will present two posters titled, "Viewers Spontaneously Represent Event Temporal Structure," and, "Events and Objects Are Similar Cognitive Entities". Martin will also present two posters ("Integrating Non-Native Speaker Identity in Semantic and Pragmatic Processing" and "Listeners evaluate native and non-native speakers differently (but not in the way you think.)"). Our team has also organized and will present at a symposium on universality and diversity in event representation at CogSci. 

May: Our lab will be well represented at the 2nd Conference on Experiments in Linguistic Meaning to be hosted by the University of Pennsylvania from May 18 - 20. Ugurcan Vurgun ("Lexical aspect maps onto event apprehension" with Yue Ji and Anna Papafragou) and Yiran Chen ("Source-Goal asymmetry in motion events: Sources are robustly encoded in memory but overlooked at test" with Anna Papafragou and John Trueswell) will give talks. Yue Ji ("Conceptual foundations of telicity"), Dionysia Saratsli ("Can ‘hard words’ become easy? Mapping evidential meanings onto different forms"), and June Choe ("Beyond the basic level: Levels of informativeness and the acquisition of subordinate nouns") will present posters on their work with Anna Papafragou. Tyler Knowlton will present joint work with John Trueswell and Anna Papafragou titled "Psycho-semantic representations explain “each” and “every” quantifier use". 

April: Dionysia Saratsli successfully defended her thesis titled, "The Learnability of Semantic Distinctions: The Case of Evidentiality" and has accepted a position as Language Engineer with Alexa Local Information's Natural Language Understanding team. Congratulations Dionysia!

March: Anna Papafragou gave an invited talk at the University of Oslo.

March: Lots of us in the lab were at the 35th Annual Conference on Human Sentence Processing held virtually from March 24 – 26. Dionysia Saratsli gave a talk (“When ‘hard words’ become easy: Learning evidential meanings across different forms”, with A. Papafragou). Yue Ji had two posters, “Conceptual Foundations of Aspect: Spontaneous Representation of Boundedness in Event Perception” and “Individuation in Language and Cognition: Similarities Between Objects and Events” (both with A. Papafragou). June Choe also presented his poster, “Beyond the basic level: Levels of informativeness and the acquisition of subordinate nouns” (with A. Papafragou). Tyler Knowlton and Yiran Chen will both presented joint work with Anna Papafragou and John Trueswell. Tyler’s poster was titled, “Psycho-semantic representations explain “each” and “every” quantifier use,” and Yiran Chen’s poster was titled, “Source-Goal asymmetry in motion events: Sources are robustly encoded in memory but overlooked at test”.

February: Anna Papafragou gave invited talks on her recent work on event representation in the Linguistics Colloquium series at the University of Athens, Greece, the Linguistics Colloquium series at Michigan State University, and the University of Cologne, Germany.

February: We are excited to welcome Sarah Lee to the lab as a postdoc! Sarah received her PhD in Linguistics from the University of Southern California. She uses various experimental methods to examine event representations in language and the mind. How are events represented in the mind? How do mental representations of events relate to linguistic representations of events? Currently, she is specifically interested in the internal temporal structure/complexity of events. She also has broader interests that revolve around meaning and its interfaces - specific topics include evidentiality, subjectivity, comparison classes, and more!

February: The Oxford Handbook of the Mental Lexicon, co-edited by Anna Papafragou, John Trueswell and Lila Gleitman, is now out! The volume brings together linguistic, psychological, philosophical and neuroscientific perspectives on how words are represented in the human mind, acquired by young children, and used during conversation. The book is dedicated to the memory of Lila, who passed away at the age of 91 as the book was going to press.

January: Our lab had a strong presence again this year at the 96th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America! We had three abstracts accepted as talks, and one lab member participate in the 5-minute Linguist competition. Dionysia Saratsli gave her talk, "Acquiring evidentials: mapping meaning onto forms" (Saratsli, D. & Papafragou, A.), Yiran Chen gave her talk, "Encoding transfer events" (Chen, Y., Papafragou, A., and Trueswell, J.), and Ariel Mathis gave her talk, "Is pragmatic (goal) information used in children's computation of event culmination?" (Mathis, A. & Papafragou, A.). Yue Ji gave her presentation, "The temporal structure of events: Relations between language and thought," (Ji, Y. & Papafragou, A.) during the 5-minute Linguist competition.

2021

Ongoing: We are excited to announce our newly expanded online research. Since last year, we have been working to move our studies with children online to make them more accessible to families who want to participate. Families can now find our studies through Children Helping Science and through our own Online Research website.

December: Anna Papafragou was an invited discussant for an Abralin ao Vivo talk on event representation.

December: Anna Papafragou talks about the extraordinary Lila Gleitman in a tribute by Cognitive Science Society.

November: Martin Ho Kwan Ip's CoEDL community reflection was featured in the ARC Center of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language's Director Weekly Highlights for the week of November 5.

November: Our lab had a strong presence at the virtual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD; November 4-7). Katherine Trice presented her talk titled, "Pragmatic inference and social cognition in acquiring (and remembering) word meanings" (Trice, K., D. Saratsli, A. Papafragou & Z. Qi). Our lab also had 4 posters at BUCLD this year: "Acquiring ‘hard’ spatial prepositions: The case of ‘between’" (Skordos, D., M. Johanson, & A. Papafragou), "Do children use pragmatic (goal) information to compute event culmination?" (Mathis, A.& A. Papafragou), "A cross-linguistic bias in motion path encoding" (Grigoroglou, M., M. Johanson & A. Papafragou), and "Mapping evidential meanings onto different forms" (Saratsli, D., & A. Papafragou). Both Katherine Trice and Dionysia Saratsli won the Paula Menyuk Award for their first-authored submissions. The award is given to the highest-rated abstracts first-authored by a student. Congratulations to all!

October: : Anna Papafragou gave a talk on representing events in language and cognition as part of the Linguistics Colloquium series at the University of Southern Carolina.

October: Anna Papafragou presented a talk on acquiring spatial language and spatial concepts at the PINA colloquium in Potsdam.

October: Anna Papafragou gave a talk on representing events during a seminar in Boston College.

July: Our lab had a talk and two posters at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Martin Ip gave his talk "Listeners evaluate native and non-native speakers differently (but not in the way you think)" (Ip, M. & Papafragou, A.). Dionysia Saratsli presented her poster "Pragmatic bias and the learnability of semantic distinctions" (Saratsli, D. & Papafragou, A.) and Andrea Beltrama presented his poster "We are what we say: Pragmatic violations have social costs" (Beltrama, A. & Papafragou, A.).

July: Anna Papafragou led a session on "Language and Event Representation" at the CEU Summer School in Object and Event Cognition in Budapest.

June: Dionysia Saratsli started a summer position as a Linguist Engineer at Facebook Reality Labs (via Collabera Inc).
She worked on improving user experience by ensuring end-to-end conversational excellence (NLG, NLU) of Facebook NLP products and developing responsible AI (focusing on Integrity)  for a virtual assistant

 

June: Anna Papafragou gave a talk about event conceptualization in language production and acquisition at the School of Psychology Colloquium Series, University of New South Wales.

June: We're delighted that Martin Ip has won the inaugural Diversity and Social Inequality Award from the Cognitive Science Society! This prize recognizes “the best work at the Cognitive Science Society annual conference that tackles issues of diversity and social inequality.” Martin is the first author on the paper “Listeners evaluate native and non-native speakers differently (but not in the way you think)” (Anna Papafragou is the second author). The prize carries the amount of $1,000USD for the co-authors. Congratulations, Martin!

June: Anna Papafragou presented a talk on Informativeness in language production and acquisition at the Distinguished Speakers in Language Science Colloquium Series at Saarland University.

June: Lab alumna Myrto Grigoroglou presented her work with Anna Papafragou titled "Speaker adjustments to addressees during language production" at the virtual Conference on Mutual Knowledge (MK40).

May: Lab alumna Yue Ji presented her work with Anna Papafragou titled "Children are sensitive to the internal profile of events" at the 12th Dubrovnik Conference on Cognitive Science.

May: Anna Papafragou has been awarded a new NSF grant on "Event structure in language and cognition". This project addresses key questions about the nature of events: How do we represent events in thought? How do novice (child) and experienced (adult) communicators use language to encode event representations? Do speakers of different languages think about events in the world differently? This deeply interdisciplinary research offers unique training opportunities in the cognitive sciences at the postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate level, and includes international collaborations. Please get in touch if you would like to get involved!

April: Anna Papafragou joined the team of Associate Editors in Language Learning and Development. The journal is the official publication of the Society for Language Development. 

March: Anna Papafragou gave a Linguistics Colloquium on event structure in language and cognition at the University of Southern California. 

March: Anna Papafragou gave a Linguistics Colloquium on event representation in the Department of Linguistic at University College London. 

March: Anna Papafragou delivered the Harold Schlosberg Colloquium in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University. Her talk addressed relations between cognition and language.

March: Our lab had two posters at the virtual 34th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing! Martin Ip presented his poster "The social benefits of being a non-native speaker," (Ip, M. & Papafragou, A.), and Andrea Beltrama presented his poster "The social cost of maxims violations: Pragmatic behavior informs speaker evaluation," (Beltrama, A. & Papafragou, A.).

March: Anna Papafragou joined a number of University of Pennsylvania faculty members in co-organizing the 34th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing! This year's virtual conference took place March 4-6. 

January: Anna Papafragou had a fun virtual visit with the University of Chicago's Department of Linguistics! Anna gave her talk. "Event representations in language and cognition," as part of the department's Colloquium series.

January: This year, our lab had a strong presence at the 95th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America! Dionysia Saratsli gave her talk, "The role of social cognition in word learning: Meaning retention and pragmatic inferences" (Saratsli, D., Papafragou, A., & Qi, Z.) and Andrea Beltrama gave his talk, "The social cost of violating maxims: How pragmatic reasoning informs speaker evaluation" (Beltrama, A. & Papafragou, A.). Dionysia also presented her poster, "Pragmatic effects on the acquisition of novel evidentials" (Saratsli, D. & Papafragou, A.) and Martin Ip presented his poster, "Socio-pragmatic meaning from non-native speech signals" (Ip, M. & Papafragou, A.).

2020

December: Our lab has recently joined Children Helping Science, an online hub where families can find and take part in research studies hosted by universities around the world. We are grateful for this amazing initiative to connect researchers with families and to make taking part in research a more accessible experience! 

November: Our lab presented a talk and a poster at the 45th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Our talk was titled "Pragmatic effects on the learnability of evidentiality systems" (Saratsli, D. & A. Papafragou), and our poster was  on "Social cognition and pragmatic inference in word learning" (Qi, Z., D. Saratsli, & A. Papafragou).

October: Anna Papafragou became the new Director of Penn's Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Language and Communication Sciences!

September: Our lab presented 1 talk and 3 posters at the conference on Experiments in Linguistic Meaning hosted by the University of Pennsylvania. Our talk was titled "Unable or unwilling? Being under-informative is interpreted differently for native and non-native speakers" (Fairchild, S., A. Mathis, & A. Papafragou). We also presented "Agents' goals affect placement of event endpoints" (Mathis, A. & A. Papafragou), "The role of executive function and theory of mind in pragmatic computations" (Fairchild, S. & A. Papafragou), and "Expressing the unseen: Learning to encode inference as an information source" (Saratsli, D. & A. Papafragou) as posters.

September: Anna Papafragou and Florian Schwarz co-organized the first Experiments in Linguistic Meaning (ELM) conference that was hosted virtually by the University of Pennsylvania, September 16-18, 2020. The conference was dedicated to the experimental study of linguistic meaning broadly construed, with a focus on theoretical issues in semantics and pragmatics, their interplay with other components of the grammar, their relation to language processing and acquisition, as well as their connections to human cognition and computation. ELM aims to include representation of linguistic, psychological, logical, philosophical, social, developmental, computational, as well as cross-linguistic and cross-cultural perspectives. The ELM schedule can be found here. Proceedings from ELM will be available from the Linguistic Society of America as an open-access publication.  

August: Postdoc Andrea Beltrama discussed the "Pandemic lexicon" in an interview for Penn Today.

July: Lab member Ariel Mathis gave a talk titled, "Intentionality Effects on Event Boundaries" at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. 

May: Yue Ji successfully defended her dissertation, titled "The Internal Temporal Structure of Events in Language and Cognition". She will go on to a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology, School of Foreign Languages. Congratulations, Yue!

May: Undergraduate student Ebony Goldman received a Spring 2020 MindCORE Grant for Undergraduate Online Research studies.

May: Undergraduate student Ebony Gold was accepted to the Lila R. Gleitman Undergraduate Summer Fellowship Program in Interdisciplinary Mind and Brain Studies.

April: Anna Papafragou was scheduled to give a talk during the Harold Schlosberg Colloquium in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University. The Colloquium was rescheduled

March: Our lab presented 1 talk and 3 posters at at the 33rd Annual CUNY Human Sentence Processing conference held virtually. Our talk was titled "The role of executive function and theory of mind in pragmatic computations" (Fairchild, S., & A. Papafragou). We also presented "Pragmatics and event structure: A closer look at their interaction in language production" (Do, M., A. Papafragou, & J. Trueswell), "Agents’ goals affect placement of event endpoints" (Mathis, A., & A. Papafragou), and "Unable or unwilling? Being under-informative is interpreted differently for native and non-native speakers" (Fairchild, S., A. Mathis, & A. Papafragou).

February: Graduate student Dionysia Saratsli was awarded a Graduate Grant 2019 by Gorilla -  an online experimental platform specifically geared for the behavioral sciences (www.gorilla.sc). The grant will support a study that is running in collaboration with Dr. Zhenghan Qi from the The Language Acquisition and Brain Lab at the University of Delaware (https://sites.udel.edu/q-lab/). The study explores the role of social cognition in word learning. Dionysia is one of only 26 winners worldwide (https://gorilla.sc/grants/winners2019). 

January: Graduate student Alyssa Kampa was selected as a finalist to compete in the Five-minute Linguist Competition, which was held as a plenary event at the Linguistic Society of America's 2020 Annual Meeting. 

January: Graduate students Yue Ji and Alyssa Kampa presented their work at the Linguistic Society of America 2020 Annual Meeting. 

January: Anna Papafragou was elected a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS). Fellow status is awarded to APS members “who have made sustained outstanding contributions to the science of psychology”.