Shultz, T. R., & Bale, A. C. (2006). Neural networks discover a near-identity relation to distinguish simple syntactic forms. Minds and Machines, 16, 107-139.



Computer simulations show that an unstructured neural-network model [Shultz, T. R., & Bale, A. C. (2001). Infancy, 2, 501536] covers the essential features of infant learning of simple grammars in an artificial language [Marcus, G. F., Vijayan, S., Bandi Rao, S., & Vishton, P. M. (1999). Science, 283, 7780], and generalizes to examples both outside and inside of the range of training sentences. Knowledge-representation analyses confirm that these networks discover that duplicate words in the sentences are nearly identical and that they use this near-identity relation to distinguish sentences that are consistent or inconsistent with a familiar grammar. Recent simulations that were claimed to show that this model did not really learn these grammars [Vilcu, M., & Hadley, R. F. (2005). Minds and Machines, 15, 359382] confounded syntactic types with speech sounds and did not perform standard statistical tests of results.


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