Implicit Acquisition of Grammars With Crossed and Nested Non-Adjacent Dependencies: Investigating the Push-Down Stack Model
Cognitive Science 36 (6):1078-1101 (2012)
A recent hypothesis in empirical brain research on language is that the fundamental difference between animal and human communication systems is captured by the distinction between finite-state and more complex phrase-structure grammars, such as context-free and context-sensitive grammars. However, the relevance of this distinction for the study of language as a neurobiological system has been questioned and it has been suggested that a more relevant and partly analogous distinction is that between non-adjacent and adjacent dependencies. Online memory resources are central to the processing of non-adjacent dependencies as information has to be maintained across intervening material. One proposal is that an external memory device in the form of a limited push-down stack is used to process non-adjacent dependencies. We tested this hypothesis in an artificial grammar learning paradigm where subjects acquired non-adjacent dependencies implicitly. Generally, we found no qualitative differences between the acquisition of non-adjacent dependencies and adjacent dependencies. This suggests that although the acquisition of non-adjacent dependencies requires more exposure to the acquisition material, it utilizes the same mechanisms used for acquiring adjacent dependencies. We challenge the push-down stack model further by testing its processing predictions for nested and crossed multiple non-adjacent dependencies. The push-down stack model is partly supported by the results, and we suggest that stack-like properties are some among many natural properties characterizing the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms that implement the online memory resources used in language and structured sequence processing
|Keywords||Nested Non‐adjacent dependencies Implicit learning Artificial grammar learning Crossed|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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Citations of this work BETA
Impaired Statistical Learning of Non-Adjacent Dependencies in Adolescents with Specific Language Impairment.Hsinjen J. Hsu, J. Bruce Tomblin & Morten H. Christiansen - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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Fluency Expresses Implicit Knowledge of Tonal Symmetry.Xiaoli Ling, Fengying Li, Fuqiang Qiao, Xiuyan Guo & Zoltan Dienes - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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