Language production

Basic course information


When we speak, we have some ideas that we want to convey. We encode them into some linguistic form and output them as speech (or strings of letters) so that the comprehender can decode them and obtain the original ideas. How exactly does this happen? It must at least involve constructing the message, forming the syntactic structures and identifying lexical representations among many other processes. This course will explore those processes underlying language production. We will focus on semantic, syntactic, and lexical processing involved in language production. (On the other hand, we will not spend a lot of time on phonological processing and articulation.)

We will be asking following questions in this seminar:

Course policies

Student responsibility

Communication with Instructor

Names/Pronouns and Self-Identifications

I recognize the importance of a diverse student body, and we are committed to fostering inclusive and equitable classroom environments. I invite you, if you wish, to tell us how you want to be referred to in this class, both in terms of your name and your pronouns (he/him, she/her, they/them, etc.). Keep in mind that the pronouns someone uses are not necessarily indicative of their gender identity. Additionally, it is your choice whether to disclose how you identify in terms of your gender, race, class, sexuality, religion, and dis/ability, among all aspects of your identity (e.g., should it come up in classroom conversation about our experiences and perspectives) and should be self-identified, not presumed or imposed.  I will do my best to address and refer to all students accordingly, and I ask you to do the same for all of your fellows.

Excuse policy

It is your responsibility to participate in every course and to submit assignments in time. However, it does not apply if you have a decent excuse and if you communicate it in a timely manner

Grading schemes

Overall structure

4 credits

40%: Presentation

40%: Reading responses

20%: Active participation in discussion

7 credits

50%: Paper

20%: Presentation

20%: Reading responses

10%: Active participation in discussion

See the evaluation guidelines for more details.

Final grades

Your grades for each work is added up and are converted into the final grades in the following way.

Reading list

NOTE: These are tentative lists and would be updated in the coming couple of weeks. You are more than welcome to suggest a paper or a topic!

The PDF files of the papers can be found in the reading folder in the Materials channel.

Stages of language production

Content stream: Division of lemma (syntax) and lexeme (form)

Vigliocco et al. (1999), Schriefers et al. (1990), Strijkers et al. (2010)

Structure stream: Division of function ssignment vs structural assignment (constituency vs linearization)

Hartsuiker et al. (1999)

Division of Content vs Structure streams

Ferreira (1996)

Incrementality: How far do we plan?


Brown-Schmidt & Konopka (2008)

Verb and arguments

Momma et al. (2016)

Choices of production

Topic / Givenness

Cowles & Ferreira (2012)