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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3MD5G

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Probabilistic Selection of Input in Morphophonological Acquisition Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
language acquisition
morphophonology
Dutch
hybrid model
computer modeling
Mandarin
Korean
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Chen, Tsung-Ying
Supervisor and department
Kirchner, Robert (Linguistics)
Tessier, Anne-Michelle (Linguistics)
Examining committee member and department
Tucker, Benjamin V. (Linguistics)
Kondrak, Greg (Computer Science)
Jarosz, Gaja (Linguistics, Yale University)
Department
Department of Linguistics
Specialization

Date accepted
2014-07-30T10:25:50Z
Graduation date
2014-11
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
This dissertation sets out to explain the development during morphophonological acquisition and its possible learning outcomes by constructing a Probabilistic Selection of Input (PSI) rich lexicon learning model, in part based on psycholinguistic evidence that rich language details are lexically encoded. Contrary to traditional UR assumptions based on lexical economy, PSI stores and associates all surface allomorphs of a morpheme in a rich lexicon as possible inputs of the morpheme. Through the lexical associations between stored allomorphs, the leaerner assigns a probability between 0 and 1 to each allomorph and probabilistically select the phonological input of the morpheme. Output pattern variation along the acquisition course is thus analyzed as results of different input preferences and corresponding grammar shifts at sequential stages, and a successful morphophonological learning stands for an adult-like lexical generalization (i.e. input probabilities) and phonological grammar captured by learners. Diachronic morphophonemic changes can nevertheless occur with a shift in input preferences over learning generations, which gradually leads to permanent grammar shifts. PSI is tested with computer simulations using corpus data as a training corpus in various case studies, including the acquisition of Dutch stem-final voicing alternation (Chapter 3), the diachronic change of Mandarin Tone 3 (Chapter 4), and the emergence of Korean stem-final obstruent variations (Chapter 5). Learning outcomes similar to the performance by native speakers in elicitation tasks are demonstrated in the PSI simulations as a result of temporarily or permanently selecting different stored allomorphs as phonological inputs.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3MD5G
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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