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The Language Hoax

By John H. McWhorter

The Language Hoax "argues that that all humans process life the same way, regardless of their language."


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Language and Development in Africa

By H. Ekkehard Wolff

Language and Development in Africa "discusses the resourcefulness of languages, both local and global, in view of the ongoing transformation of African societies as much as for economic development.. "


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Academic Paper


Title: Learning with hidden structure in Optimality Theory and Harmonic Grammar: beyond Robust Interpretive Parsing
Author: Gaja Jarosz
Institution: Yale University
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Abstract: This paper explores the relative merits of constraint ranking vs. weighting in the context of a major outstanding learnability problem in phonology: learning in the face of hidden structure. Specifically, the paper examines a well-known approach to the structural ambiguity problem, Robust Interpretive Parsing (RIP; Tesar & Smolensky ), focusing on its stochastic extension first described by Boersma (). Two related problems with the stochastic formulation of RIP are revealed, rooted in a failure to take full advantage of probabilistic information available in the learner's grammar. To address these problems, two novel parsing strategies are introduced and applied to learning algorithms for both probabilistic ranking and weighting. The novel parsing strategies yield significant improvements in performance, asymmetrically improving performance of OT learners. Once RIP is replaced with the proposed modifications, the apparent advantage of HG over OT learners reported in previous work disappears (Boersma & Pater ).

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This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 30, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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