Self-Consistency as an Inductive Bias in Early Language Acquisition

Abdellah FourtassiEcole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
Ewan DunbarLaboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, Paris, France
Emmanuel DupouxEcole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales

Abstract

In this paper we introduce an inductive bias for language acquisition under a view where learning of the various levels of linguistic structure takes place interactively. The bias encourages the learner to choose sound systems that lead to more "semantically coherent'' lexicons. We quantify this coherence using an intrinsic and unsupervised measure of predictiveness called "self-consistency." We found self-consistency to be optimal under the true phonemic inventory and the correct word segmentation in English and Japanese.

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