PUBLICATION DATE

1993-11

AUTHORS

Steve Chandler

TITLE

Are rules and modules really necessary for explaining language?

ISSUE

6

VOLUME

22

ISSN (print)

0090-6905

ISSN (electronic)

1573-6555

ABSTRACT

Over the past few years Steven Pinker has argued that although some aspects of language may be more associational, and therefore properly modeled in connectionist networks, for the most part human language is still best characterized as a modularized set of rulesymbol systems. In support of his claim, Pinker garners a broad array of clinical, experimental, and observational data from neurology, psychology, and linguistics. Those data, unfortunately, are not compelling because they do not support his position uniquely. In this paper, I show how each of his arguments is compatible with alternative interpretations. I argue, moreover, that in focusing on certain details of connectionist models Pinker and his colleagues actually overlooked both the most serious deficiencies of the connectionist approach and its most significant theoretical contribution. I conclude by sketching briefly some emerging alternatives to connectionism which avoid those deficiencies while retaining its strengths over the rule-symbol systems of linguistic theory.

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30 TRIPLES      28 PREDICATES      29 URIs      17 LITERALS

Subject Predicate Object
1 articles:f48ef961247356f5c12b282cb4a5828d sg:abstract Abstract Over the past few years Steven Pinker has argued that although some aspects of language may be more associational, and therefore properly modeled in connectionist networks, for the most part human language is still best characterized as a modularized set of rulesymbol systems. In support of his claim, Pinker garners a broad array of clinical, experimental, and observational data from neurology, psychology, and linguistics. Those data, unfortunately, are not compelling because they do not support his position uniquely. In this paper, I show how each of his arguments is compatible with alternative interpretations. I argue, moreover, that in focusing on certain details of connectionist models Pinker and his colleagues actually overlooked both the most serious deficiencies of the connectionist approach and its most significant theoretical contribution. I conclude by sketching briefly some emerging alternatives to connectionism which avoid those deficiencies while retaining its strengths over the rule-symbol systems of linguistic theory.
2 sg:articleType OriginalPaper
3 sg:coverYear 1993
4 sg:coverYearMonth 1993-11
5 sg:ddsId Art3
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7 sg:doi 10.1007/BF01072938
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15 sg:hasJournalBrand journal-brands:102ab9d2e7be34716cc8657f3e746f1a
16 sg:issnElectronic 1573-6555
17 sg:issnPrint 0090-6905
18 sg:issue 6
19 sg:language English
20 sg:license http://scigraph.springernature.com/explorer/license/
21 sg:pageEnd 606
22 sg:pageStart 593
23 sg:publicationYear 1993
24 sg:publicationYearMonth 1993-11
25 sg:scigraphId f48ef961247356f5c12b282cb4a5828d
26 sg:title Are rules and modules really necessary for explaining language?
27 sg:volume 22
28 sg:webpage https://link.springer.com/10.1007/BF01072938
29 rdf:type sg:Article
30 rdfs:label Article: Are rules and modules really necessary for explaining language?
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