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    Rights statement: ©American Psychological Association, 2021. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: 10.1037/xlm000104410.1037/xlm0001044

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The Semantics - Syntax Interface: Learning Grammatical Categories and Hierarchical Syntactic Structure through Semantics

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The Semantics - Syntax Interface : Learning Grammatical Categories and Hierarchical Syntactic Structure through Semantics. / Poletiek, Fenna H.; Monaghan, Padraic; van de Velde, Maartje; Bocanegra, Bruno.

In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, Vol. 47, No. 7, 25.10.2021, p. 1141-1155.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Harvard

Poletiek, FH, Monaghan, P, van de Velde, M & Bocanegra, B 2021, 'The Semantics - Syntax Interface: Learning Grammatical Categories and Hierarchical Syntactic Structure through Semantics', Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, vol. 47, no. 7, pp. 1141-1155. https://doi.org/10.1037/xlm0001044

APA

Poletiek, F. H., Monaghan, P., van de Velde, M., & Bocanegra, B. (2021). The Semantics - Syntax Interface: Learning Grammatical Categories and Hierarchical Syntactic Structure through Semantics. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 47(7), 1141-1155. https://doi.org/10.1037/xlm0001044

Vancouver

Poletiek FH, Monaghan P, van de Velde M, Bocanegra B. The Semantics - Syntax Interface: Learning Grammatical Categories and Hierarchical Syntactic Structure through Semantics. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 2021 Oct 25;47(7):1141-1155. https://doi.org/10.1037/xlm0001044

Author

Poletiek, Fenna H. ; Monaghan, Padraic ; van de Velde, Maartje ; Bocanegra, Bruno. / The Semantics - Syntax Interface : Learning Grammatical Categories and Hierarchical Syntactic Structure through Semantics. In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 2021 ; Vol. 47, No. 7. pp. 1141-1155.

Bibtex

@article{f7e1170a7e174f048e447d1a346a18e8,
title = "The Semantics - Syntax Interface: Learning Grammatical Categories and Hierarchical Syntactic Structure through Semantics",
abstract = "Language is infinitely productive because syntax defines dependencies between grammatical categories of words and constituents, so there is interchangeability of these words and constituents within syntactic structures. Previous laboratory-based studies of language learning have shown that complex language structures like hierarchical center embeddings (HCE) are very hard to learn, but these studies tend to simplify the language learning task, omitting semantics and focusing either on learning dependencies between individual words or on acquiring the category membership of those words. We tested whether categories of words and dependencies between these categories and between constituents, could be learned simultaneously in an artificial language with HCE{\textquoteright}s, when accompanied by scenes illustrating the sentence{\textquoteright}s intended meaning. Across four experiments, we showed that participants were able to learn the HCE language varying words across categories and category-dependencies, and constituents across constituents-dependencies. They also were able to generalize the learned structure to novel sentences and novel scenes that they had not previously experienced. This simultaneous learning resulting in a productive complex language system, may be a consequence of grounding complex syntax acquisition in semantics.",
keywords = "semantics, language learning, artificial grammar learning, center embedded hierarchical grammar, syntactic category learning",
author = "Poletiek, {Fenna H.} and Padraic Monaghan and {van de Velde}, Maartje and Bruno Bocanegra",
note = "{\textcopyright}American Psychological Association, 2021. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: 10.1037/xlm000104410.1037/xlm0001044",
year = "2021",
month = oct,
day = "25",
doi = "10.1037/xlm0001044",
language = "English",
volume = "47",
pages = "1141--1155",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition",
issn = "0278-7393",
publisher = "AMER PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOC",
number = "7",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Semantics - Syntax Interface

T2 - Learning Grammatical Categories and Hierarchical Syntactic Structure through Semantics

AU - Poletiek, Fenna H.

AU - Monaghan, Padraic

AU - van de Velde, Maartje

AU - Bocanegra, Bruno

N1 - ©American Psychological Association, 2021. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: 10.1037/xlm000104410.1037/xlm0001044

PY - 2021/10/25

Y1 - 2021/10/25

N2 - Language is infinitely productive because syntax defines dependencies between grammatical categories of words and constituents, so there is interchangeability of these words and constituents within syntactic structures. Previous laboratory-based studies of language learning have shown that complex language structures like hierarchical center embeddings (HCE) are very hard to learn, but these studies tend to simplify the language learning task, omitting semantics and focusing either on learning dependencies between individual words or on acquiring the category membership of those words. We tested whether categories of words and dependencies between these categories and between constituents, could be learned simultaneously in an artificial language with HCE’s, when accompanied by scenes illustrating the sentence’s intended meaning. Across four experiments, we showed that participants were able to learn the HCE language varying words across categories and category-dependencies, and constituents across constituents-dependencies. They also were able to generalize the learned structure to novel sentences and novel scenes that they had not previously experienced. This simultaneous learning resulting in a productive complex language system, may be a consequence of grounding complex syntax acquisition in semantics.

AB - Language is infinitely productive because syntax defines dependencies between grammatical categories of words and constituents, so there is interchangeability of these words and constituents within syntactic structures. Previous laboratory-based studies of language learning have shown that complex language structures like hierarchical center embeddings (HCE) are very hard to learn, but these studies tend to simplify the language learning task, omitting semantics and focusing either on learning dependencies between individual words or on acquiring the category membership of those words. We tested whether categories of words and dependencies between these categories and between constituents, could be learned simultaneously in an artificial language with HCE’s, when accompanied by scenes illustrating the sentence’s intended meaning. Across four experiments, we showed that participants were able to learn the HCE language varying words across categories and category-dependencies, and constituents across constituents-dependencies. They also were able to generalize the learned structure to novel sentences and novel scenes that they had not previously experienced. This simultaneous learning resulting in a productive complex language system, may be a consequence of grounding complex syntax acquisition in semantics.

KW - semantics

KW - language learning

KW - artificial grammar learning

KW - center embedded hierarchical grammar

KW - syntactic category learning

U2 - 10.1037/xlm0001044

DO - 10.1037/xlm0001044

M3 - Journal article

VL - 47

SP - 1141

EP - 1155

JO - Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition

JF - Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition

SN - 0278-7393

IS - 7

ER -