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Title: Modelling the Development of Children’s use of Optional Infinitives in Dutch and English using MOSAIC
Authors: Freudenthal, D
Pine, J M
Gobet, F
Keywords: Syntax Acquisition;Computational Modelling;Optional Infinitives;MOSAIC;acquisition of language;child-directed speech;Universal Grammar
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Cognitive Science Society
Citation: Freudenthal, D., Pine, J. M., & Gobet, F. (2006). Modelling the development of children's use of optional infinitives in English and Dutch using MOSAIC. Cognitive Science, 30, 277-310.
Abstract: In this study we use a computational model of language learning (MOSAIC) to investigate the extent to which the Optional Infinitive (OI) phenomenon in Dutch and English can be explained in terms of a resource-limited distributional analysis of Dutch and English child-directed speech. The results show that the same version of MOSAIC is able to simulate changes in the pattern of finiteness marking in two children learning Dutch and two children learning English as the average length of their utterances increases. These results suggest that it is possible to explain the key features of the OI phenomenon in both Dutch and English in terms of the interaction between an utterancefinal bias in learning and the distributional characteristics of child-directed speech in the two languages. They also show how computational modelling techniques can be used to investigate the extent to which cross-linguistic similarities in the developmental data can be explained in terms of common processing constraints as opposed to innate knowledge of Universal Grammar.
Appears in Collections:Psychology
Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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