ERIC Number: EJ1035896
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Quasiregularity and Its Discontents: The Legacy of the Past Tense Debate
Seidenberg, Mark S.; Plaut, David C.
Cognitive Science, v38 n6 p1190-1228 Aug 2014
Rumelhart and McClelland's chapter about learning the past tense created a degree of controversy extraordinary even in the adversarial culture of modern science. It also stimulated a vast amount of research that advanced the understanding of the past tense, inflectional morphology in English and other languages, the nature of linguistic representations, relations between language and other phenomena such as reading and object recognition, the properties of artificial neural networks, and other topics. We examine the impact of the Rumelhart and McClelland model with the benefit of 25 years of hindsight. It is not clear who "won" the debate. It is clear, however, that the core ideas that the model instantiated have been assimilated into many areas in the study of language, changing the focus of research from abstract characterizations of linguistic competence to an emphasis on the role of the statistical structure of language in acquisition and processing.
Descriptors: Morphemes, Morphology (Languages), Language Acquisition, Reading, Recognition (Psychology), Artificial Intelligence, Models, Language Research, Language Processing
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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