Modeling syntactic acquisition
Lisa Pearl
February 2021

Just like other scientific tools of investigation, modeling is something we use to answer certain kinds of questions. For syntactic acquisition, these questions tend to concern the process of acquisition that yields adult syntactic knowledge -- that is, *how* exactly syntactic acquisition proceeds, using particular learning strategies. In essence, an informative model of syntactic acquisition is the embodiment of a specific theory about syntactic acquisition. So, to build an informative syntactic acquisition model, you need to first have a theory about how syntactic acquisition works. Then, the model can be used to (1) make all the components of that acquisition theory explicit, (2) evaluate whether it actually works, and (3) determine precisely what makes it work (or not work). This chapter discusses the motivation for computational models of syntactic acquisition, practical issues for implementing informative models, and a selection of recent syntactic acquisition modeling results. A future directions mini-essay and annotated bibliography are included at the end.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003416
(please use that when you cite this article)
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keywords: syntax, acquisition, modeling, computational models, bayesian, parametric, non-parametric, syntax
previous versions: v4 [February 2021]
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