Benjamin Bergen

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Many animals can be trained to perform novel tasks. People, too, can be trained, but sometime in early childhood people transition from being trainable to something qualitatively more powerful-being programmable. We argue that such programmability constitutes a leap in the way that organisms learn, interact, and transmit knowledge, and that what facilitates(More)
Interactions between number and space, exemplified by the SNARC (Spatial-Numerical Association of Response Codes) effect, are often taken as evidence for a privileged spatial representation of number. Naturally, research on the spatial representation of number has typically focused on spatial tasks. But in order to make inferences about numerical cognition(More)
Cosmological simulations are the cornerstone of theoretical analysis of large-scale structure. During the next few years, projects such as the South Pole Telescope (SPT) and the Dark Energy Survey (DES) will measure the spatial distribution of large-scale structure in enormous volumes of space across billions of years of cosmic evolution. Within a decade,(More)
Grammatical aspect is a pervasive linguistic device that, according to linguistic analyses, allows speakers to encode different ways of construing events. For instance, the progressive (I am writing a book) is thought to reflect increased focus on the internal details of an event, as contrasted with the perfect (I have written a book). However, there is to(More)
Metaphorical expressions are pervasive in natural language and pose a substantial challenge for computational semantics. The inherent compositionality of metaphor makes it an important test case for compositional distributional semantic models (CDSMs). This paper is the first to investigate whether metaphorical composition warrants a distinct treatment in(More)
Arbitrariness of the sign—the notion that the forms of words are unrelated to their meanings—is an underlying assumption of many linguistic theories. Two lines of research have recently challenged this assumption , but they produce differing characterizations of non-arbitrariness in language. Behavioral and corpus studies have confirmed the validity of(More)
We propose to fundamentally change the way in which application developers write and optimize their codes by introducing a new stage to the development process that provides feedback both on the transformations performed by the compiler and expected execution for a given architecture through the simulated execution of compiler-optimized assembly output.(More)