The relation between linguistic structure and associative theories of language learning-A constructive critique of some connectionist learning models

Joel Lachter, Thomas G. Bever

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recently proposed connectionist models of acquired linguistic behaviors have linguistic rule-based representations built in. Similar connectionist models of language acquisition have arbitrary devices and architectures which make them mimic the effect of rules. Connectionist models in general are not well-suited to account for the acquisition of structural knowledge, and require predetermined structures even to simulate basic linguistic facts. Such models are more appropriate for describing the formation of complex associations between structures which are independently represented. This makes connectionist models potentially important tools in studying the relations between frequent behaviors and the structures underlying knowledge and representations. At the very least, such models may offer computationally powerful ways of demonstrating the limits of associationistic descriptions of behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-247
Number of pages53
JournalCognition
Volume28
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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