[Author Login]
Title:U-Shaped Learning in Phonological Development
Authors:Joseph Stemberger, Barbara Bernhardt, Carolyn Johnson
Abstract:Most theories of learning presuppose that a child's system
changes to become more like the adult system. Learning
algorithms are designed to yield that result. However,
children sometimes show u-shaped learning, in which some
aspect of the system becomes less like the adult system than it
had previously been. We discuss a complex set of changes
from one child, all in word-final position, involving
(a) the splitting of rounded vowels into an unrounded vowel
plus [m], (b) the insertion of word-final [h], and (c) the
insertion of word-final schwa. We test three approaches to
learning in OT: Tesar and Smolensky; Boersma and Hayes; and
Bernhardt and Stemberger. We also examine connectionist approaches.
We argue that the approaches of Tesar and Smolensky and
of Boersma and Hayes are unable to account for the observed
developmental changes. Learning models that are less deterministic
fare better.
Type:Paper/tech report
Area/Keywords:Language Acquisition,Phonology,Learnability
Article:Version 1