Greg Kobele

Neubauer Family Assistant Professor. Computation Institute, Department of Linguistics, and Humanities Collegiate Division
Rosenwald 229B
(773) 834-4607

My interests center on the human ability to use and to learn to use language. Among the many uses to which language is put, perhaps the most basic is the transmission of information. It is a marvelous fact that competent speakers of a language can communicate even completely novel thoughts and ideas with ease. At its heart, this is due to the fact that humans become attuned to certain regularities in the form of the expressions of their languages, which contribute to the meaning of an utterance in a systematic way.

My work focuses on formally characterizing the kinds of linguistic regularities to which humans are attuned, and the nature of the contributions the various regularities can make to the interpretation of utterances. There are three main aspects to this.

  1. Via observation infer a class of regularities which are realized
  2. Formally characterize this class in as elegant a manner as possible. Doing this will suggest new kinds of observations to be on the look-out for, which can alter the goodness-of-fit of the original characterization.
  3. Investigate the formal properties of devices which could learn and use regularities from this class. This last step often provides insights into alternative descriptions and extensions of the original set of regularities.
Recent Publications 
  • 2009. Syntactic Identity in Survive Minimalism: Ellipsis and the Derivational Identity Hypothesis. In: M. Putnam (ed.) Towards a Derivational Syntax: Survive Minimalism. John Benjamins
  • 2009. Without Remnant Movement, MGs are Context-Free. Proceedings of the 11th Mathematics of Language Conference. Bielefeld.
  • 2008. Agreement Bottlenecks in Italian. In: C. Casadio and J. Lambek (eds.) Computational Algebraic Approaches to Morphology and Syntax. Polimetrica.
  • 2008. Across-the-Board Extraction and Minimalist Grammars. Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Tree Adjoining Grammars and Related Frameworks. Tübingen.
  • PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, 2006