Cognitive ScienceVolume 23, Issue 4 p. 589-613
Free Access
Grammar‐based Connectionist Approaches to Language
Paul Smolensky
First published: 11 February 2010
Citations: 33
This article describes an approach to connectionist language research that relies on the development of grammar formalisms rather than computer models. From formulations of the fundamental theoretical commitments of connectionism and of generative grammar, it is argued that these two paradigms are mutually compatible. Integrating the basic assumptions of the paradigms results in formal theories of grammar that centrally incorporate a certain degree of connectionist computation. Two such grammar formalisms—Harmonic Grammar and Optimality Theory —are briefly introduced to illustrate grammar‐based approaches to connectionist language research. The strengths and weaknesses of grammar‐based research and more traditional model‐based research are argued to be complementary, suggesting a significant role for both strategies in the spectrum of connectionist language research.
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