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ERIC Number: EJ1034868
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Pages: 35
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
ISSN: ISSN-0023-8309
Examining the Acquisition of Phonological Word Forms with Computational Experiments
Vitevitch, Michael S.; Storkel, Holly L.
Language and Speech, v56 n4 p493-527 Dec 2013
It has been hypothesized that known words in the lexicon strengthen newly formed representations of novel words, resulting in words with dense neighborhoods being learned more quickly than words with sparse neighborhoods. Tests of this hypothesis in a connectionist network showed that words with dense neighborhoods were learned better than words with sparse neighborhoods when the network was exposed to the words all at once (Experiment 1), or gradually over time, like human word-learners (Experiment 2). This pattern was also observed despite variation in the availability of processing resources in the networks (Experiment 3). A learning advantage for words with sparse neighborhoods was observed only when the network was initially exposed to words with sparse neighborhoods and exposed to dense neighborhoods later in training (Experiment 4). The benefits of computational experiments for increasing our understanding of language processes and for the treatment of language processing disorders are discussed.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD); National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch (IDDB); University of Kansas, Center for Biobehavioral Neurosciences in Communication Disorders (BNCD)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01 DC06472|R01 DC08095|P30 HD002528|NIDCD P30 DC005803