Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/289805
Title:
Syntactic category learning in a second language
Author:
Wilson, Rachel
Issue Date:
2002
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
A central question in the study of language learning is how humans acquire syntactic categorical distinctions among words (e.g. noun, verb, etc.). Past research using miniature artificial grammars suggests that semantic information is not needed for this learning; distributional information alone can provide adequate input for learning. The current experiments extended this finding to a natural language. Adults who had never studied Russian listened to lists of Russian words for seven minutes. The words consisted of a content morpheme and a grammatical ending. The participants were not told the meanings of the words. Next they were tested on a series of legal and non-legal morpheme sequences, including sequences that were not in the training. Results showed that participants were able to distinguish between new legal and non-legal morpheme sequences, provided there were at least two category-markers in the input. This suggests that they were generalizing the words into categories. A corpus study showed that Russian probably contains the kind and quantity of markings required for category learning to take place. Reaction times were also analyzed.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Language, Linguistics.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Psychology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Gerken, LouAnn; Nicol, Janet

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleSyntactic category learning in a second languageen_US
dc.creatorWilson, Rachelen_US
dc.contributor.authorWilson, Rachelen_US
dc.date.issued2002en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractA central question in the study of language learning is how humans acquire syntactic categorical distinctions among words (e.g. noun, verb, etc.). Past research using miniature artificial grammars suggests that semantic information is not needed for this learning; distributional information alone can provide adequate input for learning. The current experiments extended this finding to a natural language. Adults who had never studied Russian listened to lists of Russian words for seven minutes. The words consisted of a content morpheme and a grammatical ending. The participants were not told the meanings of the words. Next they were tested on a series of legal and non-legal morpheme sequences, including sequences that were not in the training. Results showed that participants were able to distinguish between new legal and non-legal morpheme sequences, provided there were at least two category-markers in the input. This suggests that they were generalizing the words into categories. A corpus study showed that Russian probably contains the kind and quantity of markings required for category learning to take place. Reaction times were also analyzed.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectLanguage, Linguistics.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePsychologyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorGerken, LouAnnen_US
dc.contributor.advisorNicol, Janeten_US
dc.identifier.proquest3053882en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b42812653en_US
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