Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
linguistics masthead linguistics masthead
Richard P. Meier, Chair CLA 4.304, Mailcode B5100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-1701

Colin Bannard

Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of Edinburgh

Colin Bannard

Contact

LIN 393C • Language Acquisition

41605 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CLA 0.108
show description

This course is an introduction to children's acquisition of their first language and to the cognitive and social processes that make this possible. Among the topics to be considered are infant speech perception and production, the origin and nature of children's early grammatical knowledge, the child's developing understanding of their social world and the role it plays in language development, the relative contribution of culture and biology to all of the above, research methods in the study of language acquisition, cross-cultural differences in the contexts of acquisition.

Texts:  A series of readings to be made available throughout the semester. Optional Text: Erika Hoff. Language Development.

LIN 373 • Child Language

41365 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm CLA 1.108
show description

Overview of content

This course explores how children acquire their first language. Some example questions we will address are: How do children learn to recognize and produce the sounds of their language? How do they identify words and phrases in the babble of adults and figure out what they mean? How do they learn to put them together in new ways? What do young children understand about the thoughts and intentions of others, and how does this impact the development of language? How does language differ from the communication systems of other species and why? How is learning language different from learning to walk, ride a bike or play baseball? Do all children develop in the same way? Why are adults so much worse than children at learning languages? Do children understand sentences they can't say? Do children say sentences they can't understand? How can we tell?

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you should be equipped to read, understand, evaluate and discuss current theoretical and empirical papers in the field of child language research.

LIN 393 • Uncertainty Hum Lang Lrn/Proc

41055 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GAR 1.134
show description

Languages are usually described using discrete tools like categories, rules, trees, wordsenses, truth conditions etc. Language in use, however, is a far less manageable beast.Categories are fuzzy, rules can rarely be applied in all contexts, and the relationshipbetween the linguistic form used and the information conveyed is only ever correlative.Learning, producing and understanding language requires the speaker not to internalizeand manipulate discrete symbols but to reason under uncertainty. In this course we willlook at what strategies people use to deal with this uncertainty. While the focus will be onthe psychology of language, learning and decision making, we will also address how wecan redescribe fundamental phenomena in linguistics, from phonology to pragmatics, interms of probabilities, and will be concerned throughout with the bigger question of whatit means to call language or knowledge of language probabilistic.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you should be equipped to read, understand, evaluate anddiscuss current theoretical and empirical papers concerning probabilistic approaches tolanguage and its learning and processing.

LIN 373 • Child Language

40800 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm PAR 304
show description

Overview of content

This course explores how children acquire their first language. Some example questions we will address are: How do children learn to recognize and produce the sounds of their language? How do they identify words and phrases in the babble of adults and figure out what they mean? How do they learn to put them together in new ways? What do young children understand about the thoughts and intentions of others, and how does this impact the development of language? How does language differ from the communication systems of other species and why? How is learning language different from learning to walk, ride a bike or play baseball? Do all children develop in the same way? Why are adults so much worse than children at learning languages? Do children understand sentences they can't say? Do children say sentences they can't understand? How can we tell?

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you should be equipped to read, understand, evaluate and discuss current theoretical and empirical papers in the field of child language research.

LIN 393C • Language Acquisition

40875 • Fall 2012
Meets M 1000am-100pm PAR 210
show description

This course is an introduction to children's acquisition of their first language and to the cognitive and social processes that make this possible. Among the topics to be considered are infant speech perception and production, the origin and nature of children's early grammatical knowledge, the child's developing understanding of their social world and the role it plays in language development, the relative contribution of culture and biology to all of the above, research methods in the study of language acquisition, cross-cultural differences in the contexts of acquisition.

Texts:  A series of readings to be made available throughout the semester. Optional Text: Erika Hoff. Language Development.

CGS 360 • Intro To Cognitive Science

33595 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm UTC 4.112
(also listed as LIN 373, PHL 365 )
show description

This course is an introduction to the modern study of how the mind works. We will explore how humans perceive the world, how they acquire and represent knowledge, and how they reason, understand language and make decisions. Central to the course will be the computational theory of mind and the embodiment of thought and consciousness in a few pounds of grey meat. All these topics are central to the inter-disciplinary field of Cognitive Science, an area in which UT boasts enormous strength. The course will incorporate presentations and small panel discussions from faculty across Computer Science, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Psychology.Grading PolicyWeekly assignments: (short answer questions and brief reactions to readings/presentations): 40% Mid-Term Exam: 25% Final Exam: 35%

LIN 373 • Intro To Cognitive Science

40835 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm UTC 4.112
(also listed as CGS 360, PHL 365 )
show description

This course is an introduction to the modern study of how the mind works. We will explore how humans perceive the world, how they acquire and represent knowledge, and how they reason, understand language and make decisions. Central to the course will be the computational theory of mind and the embodiment of thought and consciousness in a few pounds of grey meat. All these topics are central to the inter-disciplinary field of Cognitive Science, an area in which UT boasts enormous strength. The course will incorporate presentations and small panel discussions from faculty across Computer Science, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Psychology.Grading PolicyWeekly assignments: (short answer questions and brief reactions to readings/presentations): 40% Mid-Term Exam: 25% Final Exam: 35%

LIN 392 • Analyzing Linguistic Data

40895 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 10
show description

Many areas of linguistics require statistical analysis: phonetics and phonology, psycholinguistics, computational linguistics, or empirical studies in syntax or semantics. Statistical analysis helps detect regularities in the numbers, test whether observed effects are statistically significant, and implement and test hypotheses about the data. This course provides hands-on introduction to statistics for language, using the R programming language. Using data from existing linguistic studies, we will study the following topics: * data exploration through visualization * probability distributions * mean and standard deviation of a single dataset * comparing pairs of datasets and hypotheses:testing for statistical significance * regression modeling * clustering.

LIN 350 • Psycholinguistics

41115 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 303
show description

This course explores the core questions and debates concerning cognitive aspects of language and communication, and the methods employed to address them. Questions we will address include the following: How do we move from sounds to word meanings and vice versa? How do speakers and listeners make use of the grammatical resources of their language when they communicate? To what extent do we represent and utilize what others know and don't know when addressing or listening to them? How do we understand non-literal language such as metaphor and irony? Does it make sense to distinguish between linguistic and non-linguistic aspects of communication? Do different aspects of language such as grammar, morphology or pragmatic inference involve different cognitive resources and mechanisms? Does communication with signed languages employ the same cognitive resources as communication with spoken languages? How do speakers choose between multiple possible ways to say what they have to say? How do speakers decide how much to say? Why do people repeat themselves or others and why do we talk in clichés? By the end of the course you should be better equipped to read, understand and evaluate current research in the field. No previous exposure to linguistics will be assumed.

CGS 360 • Intro To Cognitive Science

32770 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.110
(also listed as LIN 373, PHL 365 )
show description

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the modern study of how the mind works. We will explore how humans perceive the world, how they acquire and represent knowledge, and how they reason, understand language and make decisions. Central to the course will be the computational theory of mind and the embodiment of thought and consciousness in a few pounds of grey meat. All these topics are central to the inter-disciplinary field of Cognitive Science, an area in which UT boasts enormous strength. The course will incorporate presentations and small panel discussions from faculty across Computer Science, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Psychology.

Grading Policy

Weekly assignments: (short answer questions and brief reactions to readings/presentations): 40% Mid-Term Exam: 25% Final Exam: 35%

LIN 373 • Intro To Cognitive Science

40765 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.110
(also listed as CGS 360, PHL 365 )
show description

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the modern study of how the mind works. We will explore how humans perceive the world, how they acquire and represent knowledge, and how they reason, understand language and make decisions. Central to the course will be the computational theory of mind and the embodiment of thought and consciousness in a few pounds of grey meat. All these topics are central to the inter-disciplinary field of Cognitive Science, an area in which UT boasts enormous strength. The course will incorporate presentations and small panel discussions from faculty across Computer Science, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Psychology.

Grading Policy

Weekly assignments: (short answer questions and brief reactions to readings/presentations): 40% Mid-Term Exam: 25% Final Exam: 35%

LIN 393C • Language Acquisition

40840 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CBA 4.340
show description

Course Description

This course is an introduction to children's acquisition of their first language and to the cognitive and social processes that make this possible. Among the topics to be considered are infant speech perception and production, the origin and nature of children's early grammatical knowledge, the child's developing understanding of their social world and the role it plays in language development, the relative contribution of culture and biology to all of the above, research methods in the study of language acquisition, cross-cultural differences in the contexts of acquisition.

Texts


A series of readings to be made available throughout the semester. Optional Text: Erika Hoff. Language Development.

LIN 350 • Psycholinguistics

41135 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm RAS 218
show description

For detailed Course Schedule, download attachment.

LIN 393 • Uncertainty Hum Lang Lrn/Proc

41272 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm UTC 3.120
show description

For detailed Course Schedule, download attachment.

LIN 373 • Child Language

41533 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 1000-1100 PAR 303
show description

Overview of content 

This course explores how children acquire their first language. Some example questions we will address are: How do children learn to recognize and produce the sounds of their language? How do they identify words and phrases in the babble of adults and figure out what they mean? How do they learn to put them together in new ways? What do young children understand about the thoughts and intentions of others, and how does this impact the development of language? How does language differ from the communication systems of other species and why? How is learning language different from learning to walk, ride a bike or play baseball? Do all children develop in the same way? Why are adults so much worse than children at learning languages? Do children understand sentences they can't say? Do children say sentences they can't understand? How can we tell?

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you should be equipped to read, understand, evaluate and discuss current theoretical and empirical papers in the field of child language research.

Methods of Evaluation

You will be asked to demonstrate your developing understanding of the field in two ways:

- In homework assignments to be spread throughout the term you will be asked to respond to articles and commentaries and produce short discussion papers (2 pages approx.) responding to them. There will be 6 such assignments and the 4 best grades achieved will be averaged to give your final grade for this part of the assessment. In 2 exams you will be required to apply your knowledge by writing short essays in response to questions and prompts addressing questions in the field. The first of these will take place halfway through the term and will be a take-home exam. You will be given access to the questions at 10 a.m. on October 13th and required to hand in your responses at the start of class 24 hours later. The second exam will be a sit-down exam under controlled conditions and will take place during finals week.

 Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course. By default no knowledge of linguistics will be assumed, although the presentation of course material will be adapted to the experience and knowledge of the class.

Texts

 Erika Hoff (2008). Language Development. Wadsworth.

A selection of research articles and commentaries to be assigned each week throughout the term.

Grading:

The final grade will be composed as follows:

Homework assignments: 20%

Midterm Exam (24-hour take-home, due October 14th at start of class): 40%

Final exam (Tuesday, December 15, 9:00–12:00 noon): 40%

Grades may vary by +/-1% (i.e. a borderline letter grade) depending on class participation. By default, I will follow the following standard grading chart:

 

A: _93%             B+: 89%-87% C+: 79%-77% D+: 69%-67% F: <60%

A-: 92%-90%    B: 86%-83%    C: 76%-73%   D: 66%-63%

                         B-: 82%-80%    C-: 72%-70%  D-: 62%-60%

 

However, I may lower (but not raise) the cutoffs (i.e. drop an A to _90, but never raise it to _95).

 Extension Policy

Homework must be turned in on the due date by the start of class. Extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis and only if the student asks for the extension before the deadline.

 

Points will be deducted for late submission of homework. By default, 10 points (out of 100) will be deducted for lateness, plus an additional 5 points for every 24-hour period beyond 2 that the assignment is late. For example, an assignment due at 10 a.m. on Monday will have 10 points deducted if it is turned in late but before 10 a.m. on Wednesday. It will have 15 points deducted if it is turned in by 11 a.m. Friday, etc.

 

Late submissions will not be accepted if they are more than one week past the deadline. No points will be received in this case.

The greater the advance notice of a need for an extension, the greater the likelihood that it will be granted.

Academic Integrity

Each student in this course is expected to abide by the University of Texas Honor Code. Any work submitted by a student in this course for academic credit must be the student's own work.

You are encouraged to study together and to discuss information and concepts covered in lecture and the sections with other students. You can give "consulting" help to or receive "consulting" help from such students.  However, this permissible cooperation should never involve one student having possession of a copy of all or part of work done by someone else, in the form of an e-mail, an e-mail attachment file, a diskette, a CD, or a hard copy.

Should copying occur, both the student who copied work from another student and the student who gave material to be copied will automatically receive a zero for the assignment. Penalty for violation of this Code can also be extended to include failure of the course and University disciplinary action.

During examinations, you must do your own work. Talking or discussion is not permitted during the examinations, nor may you compare papers, copy from others, or collaborate in any way. Any collaborative behavior during the examinations will result in failure of the exam, and may lead to failure of the course and University disciplinary action.

Religious Holy Days

By UT Austin policy, you must notify me of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, I will give you an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence. 

Use of E-mail for Official Correspondence to Students

All students should become familiar with the University's official e-mail student notification policy.  It is the student's responsibility to keep the University informed as to changes in his or her e-mail address.  Students are expected to check e-mail on a frequent and regular basis in order to stay current with University-related communications, recognizing that certain communications may be time-critical. It is recommended that e-mail be checked daily, but at a minimum, twice per week. The complete text of this policy and instructions for updating your e-mail address are available at   http://www.utexas.edu/its/policies/emailnotify.html.

Documented Disability Statement

Any student with a documented disability who requires academic accommodations should contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at (512) 471-6259 (voice) or 1-866-329-3986 (video phone).  Faculty are not required to provide accommodations without an official accommodation letter from SSD. 

Tentative Course Schedule: **This syllabus represents my current plans and objectives. As we go through the semester, those plans may need to change to enhance learning opportunities for the class.  Such changes, communicated clearly, are not unusual and should be expected. The textbook reading suggested here is intended only to provide additional background, and while it may sometimes overlap with the material covered in class, it will only ever partially do so and reading will never be an adequate substitute for attendance. Other readings will be assigned throughout the semester.

For detailed Course Schedule, download attachment.

Publications

Colin Bannard, Joern Klinger and Michael Tomasello (2013). How Selective Are 3-Year-Olds in Imitating Novel Linguistic Material? Developmental Psychology.

Nicholas Gaylord and Colin Bannard (2013) Semantic Ambiguity Resolution as a Decision Process. Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

Colin Bannard and Michael Tomasello (2012) Can We Dissociate Contingency Learning from Social Learning in Word Acquisition by 24-Month-Olds? PLoS ONE 7(11): e49881.

Colin Bannard and Elena Lieven (2012), Formulaic Language in L1 Acquisition. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. 32. 3-16.

Barbara Stumper, Colin Bannard, Elena Lieven, and Michael Tomasello (2011). Frequent frames in German child-directed speech: a limited cue to grammatical category, Cognitive Science, 35:6,1190-1205.

Colin Bannard and Danielle Matthews (2011), Two- and three-year-olds' linguistic generalizations are prudent adaptations to the language they hear. In Arnon, I. and Clark, E., Experience, Variation and Generalization: Learning a first language (pp. 153–166). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Danielle E. Matthews and Colin Bannard (2010), Children's Production of Unfamiliar Word Sequences is Predicted by Positional Variability and Latent Classes in a Large Sample of Child-Directed Speech, Cognitive Science, 34:3, 465-488.

Colin Bannard, Elena Lieven and Michael Tomasello (2009). Modeling Children's Early Grammatical Knowledge. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106, 41 17284-17289

Colin Bannard and Elena Lieven (2009). Repetition and Reuse in Child Language Learning, In Corrigan R., Moravcsik E., Ouali H. and Wheatley K., Formulaic Language (Amsterdam: John Benjamins).

Colin Bannard and Danielle E. Matthews (2008). Stored Word Sequences in Language Learning: The Effect of Familiarity on Children's Repetition of Four-Word Combinations, Psychological Science, 19, 241-248.

Colin Bannard (2007). A Measure of Syntactic Flexibility for Automatically Identifying Multiword Expressions in Corpora. In Proceedings of the ACL-2007 Workshop on Multiword Expressions.

Colin Bannard (2005). Learning about the Meaning of Verb-Particle Constructions from Corpora. Journal of Computer Speech and Language, 19(4), 467-468.

Colin Bannard and Chris Callison-Burch (2005). Paraphrasing with Bilingual Parallel Corpora. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association of Computational Linguistics (ACL-2005).

Chris Callison-Burch, Colin Bannard and Josh Schroeder (2005). Scaling Phrase-Based Statistical Machine Translation to Larger Corpora and Larger Phrases. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association of Computational Linguistics (ACL-2005).

Chris Callison-Burch, Colin Bannard  and Josh Schroeder (2005). A Compact Data Structure for Searchable Translation Memories. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the European Association for Machine Translation (EAMT-2005).

Chris Callison-Burch, Colin Bannard and Josh Schroeder (2004). Searchable Translation Memories. In Proceedings of ASLIB Translating and the Computer 26.

Chris Callison-Burch, Colin Bannard and Josh Schroeder (2004). Improved Statistical Translation Through Editing. In Proceedings of the European Association for Machine Translation (EAMT-2004) Workshop.

Leidner, Jochen L., Johan Bos, Tiphanie Dalmas, James R. Curran, Stephen Clark, Colin Bannard, Mark Steedman, and Bonnie Webber (2004). The QED Open-Domain Answer Retrieval System for TREC-2003. In Proceedings of the Text Retrieval Conference (TREC-2003), Gaithersburg, M. U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication.

Colin Bannard, Timothy Baldwin and Alex Lascarides (2003) A Statistical Approach to the Semantics of Verb-Particles. In Proceedings of the ACL-2003 Workshop on Multiword Expressions: Analysis, Acquition and Treatment.

Colin Bannard and Timothy Bladwin (2003). Distributional Models of Preposition Semantics. In Proceedings of the ACL-SIGSEM Workshop on the Linguistic Dimensions of Prepostions and their Use in Computational Linguistics Formalisms and Applications, Toulouse, France, pp. 169-80.

bottom border