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Triggers for parameter setting may be ambiguous. Strategies for dealing with ambiguity include guessing, parallel processing, and waiting for unambiguous input. The Trigger Learning Algorithm of Gibson and Wexler (1994) is a guessing system. Gibson and Wexler show that under some reasonable assumptions it may never attain the target grammar. I propose(More)
In two recent papers, Paul Smolensky responds to a challenge Jerry Fodor and Zenon Pylyshyn posed for connectionist theories of cognition: to explain the existence of systematic relations among cognitive capacities without assuming that mental processes are causally sensitive to the constituent structure of mental representations. Smolensky thinks(More)
Once, sentence processing research set aside prosody in order to focus on syntactic and semantic processing. Experimental sentences were mostly presented visually, often without prosodic markers such as commas. Now that we have made some progress by this 'divide and conquer' approach, and now that the technology for working on speech has improved, it may be(More)
Recent investigations of sentence processing have used the cross-modal lexical decision task to show that the antecedent of a phonologically empty noun phrase (specifically, WH-trace) is reactivated at the trace position. G. McKoon, R. Ratcliff, and G. Ward (1994) claimed that (a) a design feature concerning the choice of related and unrelated targets is a(More)
The symptom of a garden path in sentence processing is an important anomaly in the input string. This anomaly signals to the parser that an error has occurred, and provides cues for how to repair it. Anomaly detection is thus an important aspect of sentence processing. In the present study, we investigated how the parser responds to unambiguous sentences(More)
An informal, but revisionist, discussion of the role that the concept of a concept plays in recent theories of the cognitive mind. It is argued that the practically universal assumption that concepts are (at least partially) individuated by their roles in inferences is probably mistaken. A revival of conceptual atomism appears to be the indicated(More)
Chien and Wexler (1990) reported that children obeyed Principle B of binding theory when the antecedent was a quantifier but not when the antecedent was referential. This was argued by Grodzinsky and Reinhart (1993) to support Reinhart's (1983) theory according to which Principle B affects only bound pronouns. Since then, other studies have supported the(More)
Recent challenges to Chomsky's poverty of the stimulus thesis for language acquisition suggest that children's primary data may carry "indirect evidence" about linguistic constructions despite containing no instances of them. Indirect evidence is claimed to suffice for grammar acquisition, without need for innate knowledge. This article reports experiments(More)