The Distributional Learning of Recursive Structures
Daoxin Li, Lydia Grohe, Petra Schulz, Charles Yang
March 2021
 

The ability for recursion is universal but where recursion takes place is language dependent and must be learned from experience. By its very nature, infinite embedding cannot be reliably inferred from multi-level embedding; an alternative conception of recursion must be put forward, one which guarantees recursion on the basis of level-one data. Subsequently, a theory is proposed that reduces the problem of learning recursion to the problem of learning productivity. The possessives in English, German, and Mandarin Chinese are used as a case study: the conditions on these recursive structures can be learned from simple child-directed input corpora.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005812
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of the 45th BUCLD Conference
keywords: recursion, language acquisition, possessives, syntax
previous versions: v1 [March 2021]
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