Formal grammars of early language

Shuly Wintner, Alon Lavie, Brian MacWhinney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

We propose to model the development of language by a series of formal grammars, accounting for the linguistic capacity of children at the very early stages of mastering language. This approach provides a testbed for evaluating theories of language acquisition, in particular with respect to the extent to which innate, language-specific mechanisms must be assumed. Specifically, we focus on a single child learning English and use the CHILDES corpus for actual performance data. We describe a set of grammars which account for this child's utterances between the ages 1;8.02 and 2;0.30. The coverage of the grammars is carefully evaluated by extracting grammatical relations from induced structures and comparing them with manually annotated labels.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguages
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Formal to Natural - Essays Dedicated to Nissim Francez on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday
Pages204-227
Number of pages24
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
EventSymposium on Languages: From Formal to Natural. Dedicated to Nissim Francez on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday - Haifa, Israel
Duration: 24 May 200925 May 2009

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume5533 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

ConferenceSymposium on Languages: From Formal to Natural. Dedicated to Nissim Francez on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday
Country/TerritoryIsrael
CityHaifa
Period24/05/0925/05/09

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science (all)

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