Distributional Information: A Powerful Cue for Acquiring Syntactic Categories
Version of Record online: 11 FEB 2010
© 1998 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Volume 22, Issue 4, pages 425–469, October 1998
How to Cite
Redington, M., Chater, N. and Finch, S. (1998), Distributional Information: A Powerful Cue for Acquiring Syntactic Categories. Cognitive Science, 22: 425–469. doi: 10.1207/s15516709cog2204_2
- Issue online: 11 FEB 2010
- Version of Record online: 11 FEB 2010
Many theorists have dismissed a priori the idea that distributional information could play a significant role in syntactic category acquisition. We demonstrate empirically that such information provides a powerful cue to syntactic category membership, which can be exploited by a variety of simple, psychologically plausible mechanisms. We present a range of results using a large corpus of child-directed speech and explore their psychological implications. While our results show that a considerable amount of information concerning the syntactic categories can be obtained from distributional information alone, we stress that many other sources of information may also be potential contributors to the identification of syntactic classes.