Seminar in Computational Linguistics
- Date: –14:30
- Location: Engelska parken 22-1017
- Lecturer: Roni Katzir
- Contact person: Miryam de Lhoneux
Representing and learning phonological knowledge
Turning to the opposite direction, I show how fixing a general learning approach such as MDL makes it possible to reason about competing hypotheses about the correct representational scheme for grammars. I illustrate this using a case study concerning the phonological lexicon. Early work in phonology made use of language-specific constraints on the lexicon, while more recent work (especially within Optimality Theory) has rejected such constraints. I show that if language-specific constraints are banned, an MDL learner will fail to learn aspects of phonological knowledge that human speakers acquire. If such constraints are allowed, the learner succeeds. This constitutes an argument in favor of allowing language-specific constraints on the lexicon.