Comparing computational cognitive models of generalization in a language acquisition task

Libby Barak, Adele E. Goldberg, Suzanne Stevenson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Natural language acquisition relies on appropriate generalization: the ability to produce novel sentences, while learning to restrict productions to acceptable forms in the language. Psycholinguists have proposed various properties that might play a role in guiding appropriate generalizations, looking at learning of verb alternations as a testbed. Several computational cognitive models have explored aspects of this phenomenon, but their results are hard to compare given the high variability in the linguistic properties represented in their input. In this paper, we directly compare two recent approaches, a Bayesian model and a connectionist model, in their ability to replicate human judgments of appropriate generalizations. We find that the Bayesian model more accurately mimics the judgments due to its richer learning mechanism that can exploit distributional properties of the input in a manner consistent with human behaviour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEMNLP 2016 - Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Proceedings
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages96-106
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781945626258
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Event2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2016 - Austin, United States
Duration: Nov 1 2016Nov 5 2016

Publication series

NameEMNLP 2016 - Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Proceedings

Conference

Conference2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2016
CountryUnited States
CityAustin
Period11/1/1611/5/16

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

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  • Cite this

    Barak, L., Goldberg, A. E., & Stevenson, S. (2016). Comparing computational cognitive models of generalization in a language acquisition task. In EMNLP 2016 - Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Proceedings (pp. 96-106). (EMNLP 2016 - Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Proceedings). Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).