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What distributional information is useful and usable for language acquisition?

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Publication date2005
Host publicationProceedings of the twenty-sixth annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society. : August 4-7 2004, Chicago, Illinois
EditorsK Forbus, D Gentner, T Regier
Place of PublicationMAHWAH
PublisherLAWRENCE ERLBAUM ASSOC PUBL
Pages963-968
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780805854640, 0805854649
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Event26th Annual Conference of the Cognitive-Science-Society - Chicago

Conference

Conference26th Annual Conference of the Cognitive-Science-Society
CityChicago
Period4/08/047/08/04

Conference

Conference26th Annual Conference of the Cognitive-Science-Society
CityChicago
Period4/08/047/08/04

Abstract

Numerous theories of language acquisition have indicated that distributional information is extremely valuable for assisting the child to learn syntactic categories, yet these theories differ over the type of information that is proposed as useful in acquisition. Mintz (2003) has proposed that children utilize the previous word and the following word (AxB frames) for acquiring categories, whereas Monaghan, Chater, and Christiansen (submitted) have suggested that information about the previous word alone provides a rich source of data for categorization. In three modeling experiments we found that bigrams were better than fixed AxB frames for learning syntactic categories in a corpus of child-directed speech. However, presentation of the preceding and succeeding words when these can be processed separately resulted in better learning than presenting the preceding word alone, and also improved performance over presenting the previous two words.