Constraints on Abstraction: Generalization Across Languages

Sara FinleyPacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA

Abstract

Recent research has suggested a division between lexical representations and phonological patterns; lexical items are stored with talker-specific information, while phonological patterns are represented at a separate, abstract level of representation (Finley, 2013; Smolensky & Legendre, 2006). The present paper provides further evidence for this proposal, demonstrating that learners will extend a novel phonological pattern (vowel harmony) to speakers of a novel dialect when the words are familiar, but not when the words are unfamiliar, further supporting a distinction between the representations of lexical items and the representations of phonological patterns.

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Constraints on Abstraction: Generalization Across Languages (283 KB)



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