عنوان مقاله [English]
Promotion and development of Persian language as one of the most important elements of national and cultural identity should always be a part of the country's policies and priorities. In this regard, holding quality scientific conferences would help to provide appropriate solutions for implementing and directing these policies. One of the most welcome scientific events was the holding of the First National Conference on Experimental Linguistics. Experimental linguistics is an area of linguistics which relies on empirical methodology to study and extract linguistic generalizations and constraints which describe the diversity of linguistic patterns in human languages. The extraction of linguistic generalizations within the framework of experimental linguistics is based on quantitative evidence obtained from the order governing the manner in which patterns are applied at the level of linguistic practice. This quantitative evidence can be obtained either, in the exact sense of the word, by laboratory methods or from linguistic corpora. Thus, the data studied by experimental linguists include either various linguistic patterns in textual and spoken corpora or quantitative and continuous parameter values collected in laboratory studies. In either case, in order for the linguist to obtain the desired linguistic generalizations of the language community under study, he must test his research hypotheses with statistical models.
Experimental linguistics, as defined here, covers many areas including linguistics, phonetics and phonology (especially laboratory and cognitive phonology), psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, corpus linguistics, computational linguistics, second language acquisition, and etc. In addition, in recent years, experimental approach to linguistic issues has also attracted the attention of linguists in other fields such as morphology, syntax, semantics, and applied linguistics. Within the framework of linguistic phonetics and laboratory phonology, a phonological hypothesis which is a model of abstract representation of a phonetic pattern in the mind of language users is put forward and its validity is investigated through an appropriate experimental design. Psycholinguistics uses laboratory methods to discover the cognitive principles and mechanisms governing the processing of linguistic data to address cognitive aspects of language use. Neurolinguists study the behavior of the language users under laboratory conditions through the observation of chemical interactions which occur in the brain cortex. In computational linguistics, on the basis of statistical and quantitative models, computational algorithms are designed for the reconstruction and recognition of spoken and written language. Corpus linguists search for linguistic patterns within natural language corpora which are large collections of language users' productions. And finally, second language acquisition explores methods of teaching and learning of any language other than the mother tongue.
Dozens of articles were submitted to the First National Conference on Experimental Linguistics. From these articles, six articles which from the perspective of this journal's reviewers had appropriate quality were selected to be published in this issue of the journal. Here, I would like to thank, my dear colleague, Dr. Vahid Sadeghi who as the academic secretary of the conference was instrumental in the initial review of the papers submitted to the event and contributed to this publication.
I hope that the articles of this issue will be useful to researchers and enthusiasts of Persian language teaching.