LINGUIST List 12.2377

Tue Sep 25 2001

Books: Computational/Connectionist Linguistics

Editor for this issue: Richard John Harvey <>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.


  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

Language, Speech, and Communication series
A Bradford Book

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


----------------- Major Supporters ----------------



Academic Press



Arnold Publishers



Athelstan Publications



Blackwell Publishers




Cambridge University Press



Cascadilla Press



CSLI Publications



Distribution Fides



Elsevier Science Ltd.



John Benjamins



Kluwer Academic Publishers



Lernout & Hauspie



Lincom Europa



MIT Press



Mouton de Gruyter



Multilingual Matters



Oxford UP



Pearson Education












Summer Institute of Linguistics




---------Other Supporting Publishers-------------



Anthropological Linguistics



Bedford/St. Martin's



Finno-Ugrian Society



Graduate Linguistic Students' Assoc., Umass



International Pragmatics Assoc.



Kingston Press Ltd.



Linguistic Assoc. of Finland



Linguistic Society of Southern Africa (LSSA)


Pacific Linguistics


Pacini Editore Spa


Virittaja Aikakauslehti


Monday, July 23, 2001