LINGUIST List 12.2377

Tue Sep 25 2001

Books: Computational/Connectionist Linguistics

Editor for this issue: Richard John Harvey <richardlinguistlist.org>


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Directory

  1. Jud Wolfskill, Computational/Connectionist Ling: Townsend: Sentence Comprehension

Message 1: Computational/Connectionist Ling: Townsend: Sentence Comprehension

Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 15:04:22 -0400
From: Jud Wolfskill <wolfskilMIT.EDU>
Subject: Computational/Connectionist Ling: Townsend: Sentence Comprehension

Sentence Comprehension
The Integration of Habits and Rules
David J. Townsend and Thomas G. Bever

Using sentence comprehension as a case study for all of cognitive
science, David Townsend and Thomas Bever offer an integration of two
major approaches, the symbolic-computational and the
associative-connectionist. The symbolic-computational approach
emphasizes the formal manipulation of symbols that underlies creative
aspects of language behavior. The associative-connectionist approach
captures the intuition that most behaviors consist of accumulated
habits. The authors argue that the sentence is the natural level at
which associative and symbolic information merge during comprehension.

The authors develop and support an analysis-by-synthesis model that
integrates associative and symbolic information in sentence
comprehension. This integration resolves problems each approach faces
when considered independently. The authors review classic and
contemporary symbolic and associative theories of sentence
comprehension, and show how recent developments in syntactic theory
fit well with the integrated analysis-by-synthesis model. They offer
analytic, experimental, and neurological evidence for their model and
discuss its implications for broader issues in cognitive science,
including the logical necessity of an integration of symbolic and
connectionist approaches in the field.

David J. Townsend is Cognitive Science Coordinator, Department of
Psychology, Montclair State University, New Jersey. Thomas G. Bever is
Chair of the Linguistics Department at the University of Arizona.

6 x 9, 368 pp.
49 illus.
paper ISBN 0-262-70080-8
cloth ISBN 0-262-20132-1

http://mitpress.mit.edu/0262201321

Language, Speech, and Communication series
A Bradford Book

Jud Wolfskill
Associate Publicist
MIT Press
5 Cambridge Center, 4th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142
617.253.2079
617.253.1709 fax
wolfskilmit.edu
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue
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Monday, July 23, 2001