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Lecture12-PoS3 - Reminder Poverty of the Stimulus Psych...

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Psych 215L: Language Acquisition Lecture 12 Poverty of the Stimulus: Structure Dependence Reminder: Poverty of the Stimulus The Logic of Poverty of the Stimulus (The Logical Problem of Language Acquisition) 1) Suppose there are some data . 2) Suppose there is an incorrect hypothesis compatible with the data. 3) Suppose children behave as if they never entertain the incorrect hypothesis . Addendum (interpretation): Or children converge on the correct hypothesis much earlier than expected (Legate & Yang 2002). Conclusion: Children possess innate knowledge ruling out the incorrect hypothesis from the hypothesis space considered. Addendum (Interpretation): The initial hypothesis space does not include all hypotheses. Specifically, the incorrect ones of a particular kind are not in the child’s hypothesis space. Legate & Yang (2002): Poverty of the Stimulus Lives Child Input Very frequent Is Hoggle t is running away from Jareth? Very infrequent, if ever Can someone who can solve the Labyrinth t can show someone who can’t how? Perfors, Tenenbaum, & Regier (2011): Or does it? Some Issues Unclear how much evidence is “enough”. Forms do occur, even if they do so rarely. Moreover, may be better to consider forms not in isolation, but in a larger context. Our findings suggest that it is vital to consider the learnability of entire candidate grammars holistically . While crucial data that would independently support any one generalization (such as the auxiliary- fronting rule) may be very sparse or even nonexistent, there may be extensive data supporting other, related generalizations; this can bias a rational learner towards making the correct inferences about the cases for which the data is very sparse ….The need to acquire a whole system of linguistic rules together imposes constraints among the rules, so that an a priori unbiased learner may acquire constraints that are based on the other linguistic rules it must learn at the same time.”
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Perfors, Tenenbaum, & Regier (2011): Or does it? Some Issues It’s possible to have both domain-general learning abilities and structures representations. Perfors, Tenenbaum, & Regier (2011): Or does it? Some Issues Previous statistical accounts haven’t connected with the argument that preferring hierarchical structures must be innate. PoS arguments begin with the assumption - taken by most linguists as self-evident - that language does have explicit hierarchical phrase structure, and that linguistic knowledge must at some level be based on representations of syntactic categories and phrases that are hierarchically organized within sentences. The PoS arguments are about whether and to what extent children ʼ s knowledge about this structure is learned via domain-general mechanisms, or is innate in some language-specific system . Critiques based on the premise that this explicit structure is not represented as such in the minds of language users do not really address this argument...” Perfors, Tenenbaum, & Regier (2011): Or does it?
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