Lezing Michael Zock

Op dinsdag 10 oktober 2017 geeft professor Michael Zock van de universiteit van Marseille een lezing bij het Instituut voor de Nederlandse Taal met als titel: Wheels for the mind of the language producer: microscopes, macroscopes, semantic maps and a good compass.

  • Datum: 10 oktober 2017
  • Tijd: 11.00 uur
  • Toegang: gratis
  • Locatie: Instituut voor de Nederlandse Taal, Matthias de Vrieshof 3 – zaal 104, Leiden


Languages are not only means of expression, but also vehicles of thought, allowing us to discover new ideas (brainstorming) or clarify existing ones by refining, expanding, illustrating more or less well specified thoughts. Of course, all this must be learned, and to this end we need resources, tools and knowledge on how to use them. I will be mainly concerned here with the productive mode, language generation in the mother tongue or a foreign language.

We all are familiar with microscopes, maps, and navigational tools which we normally associate with professions having little to do with NLP. I will argue here that this does not need to be so. 

Methaphorically speaking, our brains or computers use the very same tools both for comprehension or expression. I will illustrate this claim mainly for language generation. Particular emphasis will be given to global structures (patterns) and navigational tools. I will argue that patterns can be compared to macroscopes, accounting for important aspects of language production and language learning (fluency acquisition). The idea of the lexical compass is used to show how one could help people to navigate in a huge, multi-dimensional space, in order to find the word they are looking for.

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