David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The vast expressive power of language is made possible by two principles: the arbitrary soundmeaning pairing underlying words, and the discrete combinatorial system underlying grammar. These principles implicate distinct cognitive mechanisms: associative memory and symbolmanipulating rules. The distinction may be seen in the difference between regular inflection (e.g., walk-walked), which is productive and open-ended and hence implicates a rule, and irregular inflection (e.g., come-came, which is idiosyncratic and closed and hence implicates individually memorized words. Nonetheless, two very different theories have attempted to collapse the distinction; generative phonology invokes minor rules to generate irregular as well as regular forms, and connectionism invokes a pattern associator memory to store and retrieve regular as well as irregular forms. I present evidence from three disciplines that supports the traditional word/rule distinction, though with an enriched conception of lexical memory with some of the properties of a pattern-associator. Rules, nonetheless, are distinct from patternassociation, because a rule concatenates a suffix to a symbol for verbs, so it does not require access to memorized verbs or their sound patterns, but applies as the "default," whenever memory access fails. I present a dozen such circumstances, including novel, unusual-sounding, and rootless and headless derived words, in which people inflect the words regularly (explaining quirks like flied out, low-lifes, and Walkmans). A comparison of English to other languages shows that contrary to the connectionist account, default suffixation is not due to numerous regular words reinforcing a pattern in associative memory, but to a memory-independent, symbol-concatenating mental operation.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Victoria McGeer (2007). Why Neuroscience Matters to Cognitive Neuropsychology. Synthese 159 (3):347 - 371.
Amie L. Thomasson (2013). Norms and Necessity. Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):143-160.
Emily R. Cohen-Shikora & David A. Balota (2013). Past Tense Route Priming. Cognition 126 (3):397-404.
Mark Jeffreys (2008). How Can “Cheap Talk” Yield Coordination, Given a Conflict? Mind and Society 7 (1):95-108.
Similar books and articles
K. A. Paller, M. Kutas & H. K. McIsaac (1998). An Electrophysiological Measure of Priming of Visual Word-Form. Consciousness and Cognition 7 (1):54-66.
Emmanuel M. Pothos (2005). The Rules Versus Similarity Distinction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (1):1-14.
JoaquÍ & N. M. Fuster (1999). Hebb's Other Postulate at Work on Words. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (2):288-289.
René Zeelenberg, Gijs Plomp & Jeroen G. W. Raaijmakers (2003). Can False Memories Be Created Through Nonconscious Processes? Consciousness and Cognition 12 (3):403-412.
Joan Bybee (1999). Use Impacts Morphological Representation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):1016-1017.
Robert Schreuder, Nivja de Jong, Andrea Krott & Harald Baayen (1999). Rules and Rote: Beyond the Linguistic Either-or Fallacy. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):1038-1039.
Thomas F. M.ü, Antoni Rodriguez-Fornells nte & Marta Kutas (1999). One, Two, or Many Mechanisms? The Brain's Processing of Complex Words. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):1031-1032.
Alessandro Laudanna (1999). Regular Versus Irregular Inflection: A Question of Levels. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):1029-1030.
Joseph Shimron, Iris Berent & Stephen Pinker (1999). Default Nominal Inflection in Hebrew: Evidence for Mental Variables. Cognition 72 (1):1-44.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads25 ( #65,527 of 1,096,442 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #134,922 of 1,096,442 )
How can I increase my downloads?