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ERIC Number: EJ878364
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 35
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0097-8507
Learning Phonological Categories
Goldsmith, John; Xanthos, Aris
Language, v85 n1 p4-38 Mar 2009
This article describes in detail several explicit computational methods for approaching such questions in phonology as the vowel/consonant distinction, the nature of vowel harmony systems, and syllable structure, appealing solely to distributional information. Beginning with the vowel/consonant distinction, we consider a method for its discovery by the Russian linguist Boris Sukhotin, and compare it to two newer methods of more general interest, both computational and theoretical, today. The first is based on spectral decomposition of matrices, allowing for dimensionality reduction in a finely controlled way, and the second is based on finding parameters for maximum likelihood in a hidden Markov model. While all three methods work for discovering the fairly robust vowel/consonant distinction, we extend the newer ones to the discovery of vowel harmony, and in the case of the probabilistic model, to the discovery of some aspects of syllable structure.
Linguistic Society of America. 1325 18th Street NW Suite 211, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-835-1714; Fax: 202-835-1717; Web site: http://www.lsadc.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A