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Theoretical perspectives on plural morphology


One of the holy grails of cognitive technology is the reason of linguistic productivity: a model of the language system that enables people to shop what they hear and artistically reuse this to new ends. There is extensive controversy concerning just how one should define apart storage space and combinatorial use, with a few who have favorite a strict division between concrete rendering of lexical items and their combination when it comes to abstract groups (e. g., Chomsky, 1965) and others with argued that storage is far more pervasive and associative in nature from where abstract combinatorial schemas may possibly first happen (e. g., Langacker, 1987). Inflectional morphology has long been the favored check case for these kinds of contrasting landscapes of vocabulary. The intense exploration in this field offers a really rich pair of explanatory alternatives that we check out here via a developmental perspective.

Research into the acquisition of inflectional morphology offers tended to concentrate on the phenomenon of overregularization”the application of a typical inflection to a irregular come or inflected form, for example , mouses or perhaps mices. Depending on one’s point of view, such mistakes of commission payment have been taken as the essential demonstration that children possibly acquire summary rules or perhaps generalize schemas. Far less focus has been paid out to the errors that occur when kids simply tend not to inflect a word at all”for example, declaring “mouse” to refer to five mice. However these problems of omission can shed considerable light on the purchase process and may potentially move apart different theoretical accounts of inflectional morphology.

The dual-route model of inflection (Clahsen, 1999, Clahsen, Aveledo, Roca, 2002, Clahsen, Rothweiler, Woest, 99, Marcus, 1995a, 1995b, Marcus et approach., 1992, Pinker, 1999, Pinker Prince, 1988, Pinker Ullman, 2002) suggests that irregularly inflected words (e. g., mice) are stored in a great associative storage, whereas the inflection of regular words (e. g., houses) is calculated by a arrears rule (e. g., “add -s” for English plurals) that combines a symbol for the stem which has a symbol for the suffix. Ahead of the default guideline is obtained, if a child does not have an appropriate inflected form in memory, in that case she or he will be forced to ful a simple stem instead (Pinker, 1999), and therefore, errors of omission may happen prior to the purchase of a regulation. On learning the secret (as confirmed by the production of overregularizations), errors of omission will need to disappear, as well as the child should certainly inflect regularly, albeit with overregularized forms for unfamiliar irregulars (e. g., mouses). However , the dual-route version allows for analogie to be manufactured between abnormal nouns/verbs that form phonological subgroups, enabling a certain degree of erroneous production (e. g., bring-brang by analogy to sing-sang, ring-rang). Thus, virtually any subsequent errors of omission could just be explained in the event one would be to argue that the word in question was mistaken to become “no modify irregular” (e. g., cut-cut) by virtue of becoming a close phonological neighbor of such irregulars. When this may not be the case, errors of omission are not believed.

Usage-based or schema models (Bybee, 1985, 2001, Bybee Slobin, 1982, Dabrowska, 2001, 2004, Köpcke, 1998) propose that the two regulars and irregulars are addressed by the same safe-keeping and finalizing mechanisms. In a sense, schema models are also dual-route models in this a given inflected form could possibly be arrived at either by retrieving the whole kind from recollection or simply by accessing a stem and adding suitable affixes, which are represented while schemas (Bybee, 2001). The is that the choice of route is determined by the consistency of the contact form, not its regularity. The greater the frequency of the inflected form, the much more likely the whole kind is gathered from storage (whether it really is regular or irregular). Bybee and Slobin (1982) recommended that kids form product-oriented schemas, which can be generalizations about properties of inflected varieties (e. g., past tenses tend to end with “ed ) and also source-oriented schemas, which are generalizations about how a great inflected type is composed of a stem and an inflection (e. g., to make a earlier tense, require a verb control and add “ed ). Adult-like mastery is usually achieved by controlling product-oriented schemas with source-oriented generalizations regarding suffixation and irregular idiosyncrasies. The early progress product-oriented schemas predicts that children can make more problems of omission with nouns and verbs whose control ending currently resembles the inflected schema (e. g., dress already ends in “s). This consideration does not anticipate that mistakes of omission should end once errors of percentage (productive suffixation) begin. Somewhat, the developing process is seen as a little by little refined managing act that is sensitive for the token rate of recurrence of the individual phrases being inflected (be they regular or perhaps irregular) as well as the type consistency of the inflection(s) being schematized.

Connectionist models have got generally recently been compatible with schizzo models in this they propose the same storage and control mechanisms to get regulars and irregulars (e. g., Joanisse Seidenberg, 99, MacWhinney Leinbach, 1991, Plunkett Juola, 1999, Plunkett Marchman, 1991, 1993, 1996, Rumelhart McClelland, 1986, Westermann, 1998). These models show indications of schema-induced problems of omission (e. g., making more errors of omission together with the /-id/ inflection required for verbs whose come already ends in d/t), though these problems are not incredibly frequent and are often asserted to be as a result of analogy with no-change irregulars (cut- cut) rather than as a result of implicit generalization of a product-oriented schema. Connectionist models even more generally display neighborhood effects whereby items that fall into densely populated neighborhoods, for example drink-drank and sink-sank, tend to become inflected in the same way by virtue of example (which can mean they are specifically resistant to overregularization errors).

One last type of style to consider is referred to as the parallel dual-route race style (Baayen, Dijkstra, Schreuder, 1997). In this version, both entire inflected varieties and deconstructed stems and inflections are activated and race pertaining to selection. The higher the consistency of the inflected form, a lot more likely the whole kind is to be applied, not the decomposed comes. This model is usually thus a lot like Bybee’s (2001) model we all described previously but contains a more specific processing structures that includes actions for the activation of segments, the licensing with their composition, and the composition of their meaning. This architecture is definitely proposed to explain adult knowledge. Consequently, it is difficult to make any strong forecasts about mistakes of omission in child production. Nevertheless , the pervasive storage presumed by the version would presumably predict fewer errors of omission to get words in whose inflected forms are of higher frequency. The logic is that inflected forms which can be of high rate of recurrence are more likely to become retrieved as a whole than to get formed by a come and a separate inflection. Mistakes of omission would not take place if the entire form is usually retrieved directly but may possibly occur in the event the stem is usually retrieved but not put together with an inflection. The model also predicts that the inflected form of anything should be easier to process if perhaps that phrase is came across relatively more regularly in its inflected form within its uninflected form (when total come + inflected form frequency is placed constant). Taking the example of English nouns, the phrase cloud is normally encountered in the plural type and is thus termed dual dominant, although ceiling rarely occurs in the plural which is thus can be singular major. It was located that adults were quicker to method plural major plurals including clouds than singular prominent plurals such as ceilings. Applying this thinking to buy, we might anticipate that intended for words of overall equal frequency, the ones that occur more regularly in the inflected form will probably be less at risk of errors of omission than those that occur more often in the singular (see also Bybee, 2001, Hay, 2001).

To summarize, the subsequent six significant factors had been identified as probably affecting the interest rate of mistakes of omission in child English (Matthews and Theakston 2006, p. 1030):

  • The child’s ability to inflect productively (possession of any rule/schema).
  • The phonological similarity with the stem closing to a relevant inflection schema.
  • The phonological neighborhood of the item to be inflected (i. e., the number of other phonologically identical stem-inflected form pairs, electronic. g., sing-sang, ring-rang).
  • The regularity of the term (potential to get competition effects).
  • The complete token consistency of the term.
  • The relative frequency of the inflected form towards the stem.
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