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ERIC Number: EJ947160
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 68
ISSN: ISSN-0169-0965
Linguistic Markedness and Category Learning
Haskell, Todd R.; Mansfield, Cade D.; Brewer, Katherine M.
Language and Cognitive Processes, v26 n8 p1022-1054 2011
Several psycholinguistic theories have appealed to the linguistic notion of markedness to help explain asymmetrical patterns of behavioural data. We suggest that this sort of markedness is best thought of as a derived rather than a primitive notion, emerging when the distributional properties of linguistic categories interact with general-purpose category learning mechanisms. To test this claim, four category learning experiments were conducted in which the stimuli were spoken nonsense words (Experiments 1 and 4), musical phrases (Experiment 2), or pictures of robots (Experiment 3). In each experiment, the base rates and variability of the categories were manipulated. A broadly similar pattern of markedness-like behaviour was seen in all three experiments. Our findings highlight the potential role of general-purpose learning mechanisms in theorising about linguistic categories. (Contains 6 tables and 1 figure.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A