Lexical distributional cues, but not situational cues, are readily used to learn abstract locative verb-structure associations.

Twomey, Katherine Elizabeth and Chang, Franklin and Ambridge, Ben (2016) Lexical distributional cues, but not situational cues, are readily used to learn abstract locative verb-structure associations. Cognition, 153. pp. 124-139. ISSN 0010-0277

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Abstract

Children must learn the structural biases of locative verbs in order to avoid making overgeneralisation errors (e.g., *I filled water into the glass). It is thought that they use linguistic and situational information to learn verb classes that encode structural biases. In addition to situational cues, we examined whether children and adults could use the lexical distribution of nouns in the post-verbal noun phrase to assign novel verbs to locative classes. In Experiment 1, children and adults used lexical distributional cues to assign verb classes, but were unable to use situational cues appropriately. In Experiment 2, adults generalised distributionally-learned classes to novel verb arguments, demonstrating that distributional information can cue abstract verb classes. Taken together, these studies show that human language learners can use a lexical distributional mechanism that is similar to that used by computational linguistic systems that use large unlabelled corpora to learn verb meaning.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Cognition
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Cognition. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Cognition, 153, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2016.05.001
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200/1203
Subjects:
ID Code:
79314
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
03 May 2016 12:26
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
29 Nov 2020 03:35