Axe 7

Experimental methods and epistemology (resp. B. Hemforth-LLF Paris 7)

One of the central goals of the current project is the integration of scientific approaches from different disciplines such as linguistics, psychology, computer science, and neuroscience, in order to arrive at an empirically as well as theoretically well-founded description of a variety of languages. While extensive data bases such as those developed in the resource strand allow for a detailed analysis of factors influencing many linguistic phenomena (see for example Bresnan & Ford, 2010), a considerable number of questions remains to be studied with different methodological approaches, notably the direct interaction with linguistic informants in more or less controlled situations. The rich experimental environment of the Labex EFL will allow mutualizing experimental techniques starting with questionnaire studies, but also including more sophisticated techniques such as the measurement of eye movements or EEGs. To further allow for the constitution of production corpora suitable for all levels of linguistic analysis, new paradigms will have to be developed and new platforms will have to be installed. Training of researchers and students will be one of the most important issues of the projects proposed in this strand. This training will not only include empirical techniques but very importantly also ethical issues to be taken into account when working with human informants. Our work will also be accompanied by a historically grounded epistemological approach in order to evaluate the consistency and degree of "novelty" of this paradigm. A central issue of the project will be the development of systematic elicitation tasks for endangered languages (Léonard, 2010a,b), which will moreover be systematically compared with and discussed in the framework of psycho- and sociolinguistic approaches.

  • EM1: The epistemological status of empirical data in linguistics (resp. C. Puech) HTL, LLF, LPP-P3, LPNCog
  • EM2: Cross-mediated endangered language elicitation (resp. J-L. Léonard) LPP-P3, LLF, LIPN, CRLAO
  • EM3-EM4: Development of experimental protocols ; mutualizing existing platforms (resp: B. Hemforth) LLF, LPP-P3, LPP-P5, Lattice

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