Mojmír Dočekal presently works at Masaryk Univesity at the Department of Linguistics and Baltic Languages. He is a member of the Generative Linguists of the Old World (GLOW) board. His professional interest include syntax, semantics and a language philosophy.

Selected Publications:

  • Dočekal, M. & J. Dotlačil (2017). When is not-believing believing that not? n R. Truswell (ed.): Proceedings of
    Sinn und Bedeutung 21. Edinburg, In press.
  • Dočekal, M. (2015). Czech Negation from the Formal Perspective. Muenchen: Lincom.
  • Dočekal, M. & I. Kučerová (2013). On Degree Questions, Scope of Negation, and the Lack of Weak Islands in Czech. In S. Franks et al. (eds.): Annual Workshop on Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics. Ann Arbor:
    Michigan Slavic Publications. 4963.

Formal Linguistics and the Experimental Turn

date of the lecture: 22. 9. 2017

place: Mendelovo muzeum MU, Mendlovo nám. 1, Brno

time: 9:00 - 11:00

Linguistics in the second half of 20th century was changed enor- mously by Chomsky's and Montague's turn to formalization and mathematization, these chan- ges are most dramatically visible in the syntax (Chomsky (1957), Chomsky (1993) among many others) and in semantics (Montague (1973), Montague (1970), Winter (2001), .). After 40 years of the main parts of linguistics being formalized, from 90s we can observe next step in the history of modern linguistics which can be called experimental turn: more and more typologically diffuse languages are subsumed under the roof of formal methods founded in the decades before. The diverse data lead to widening and sharpening of the tools of modern lingu- istics naturally (Horn (1989), Gajewski (2005), .) but as well to a new search for empirically more adequate frameworks where much more attention is payed to data gathering and their statistical interpretation than it was in the years before. In sum: beginning with the nineties of the last century a lot of prominent linguists turned their attention to experimental methods, statistical approaches to linguistic data and generally to a more robust connection between the existing theories and realistically gathered and sampled linguistic data (see Baayen (2008) a.o.)
In my talk I will focus on: a) short introduction of the modern formal linguistic history; b) on one concrete example (series of experiments analyzing Neg-Raising, published as Doče- kal and Dotlačil (2016)) I will show the connection between the formal and experimental methods in current linguistics and I will demonstrate: • predictions of formal theories and the interactions between theories and their verifi- cation/modification; • construction of an experiment - design, fillers, latin-square design; • statistical modeling of the experimental data - linear models, reaction times, working with the language R, . • final summary of the statistically modeled data with respect to their consequences for current formal theories.

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