Abstract

Abstract:

The target article (Pater 2019) proposes to use neural networks to model learning within existing grammatical frameworks. This is easier said than done. There is a fundamental gap to be bridged that does not receive attention in the article: how can we use neural networks to examine whether it is possible to learn some linguistic representation (a tree, for example) when, after learning is finished, we cannot even tell if this is the type of representation that has been learned (all we see is a sequence of numbers)? Drawing a correspondence between an abstract linguistic representational system and an opaque parameter vector that can (or perhaps cannot) be seen as an instance of such a representation is an implementational mapping problem. Rather than relying on existing frameworks that propose partial solutions to this problem, such as harmonic grammar, I suggest that fusional research of the kind proposed needs to directly address how to ‘find’ linguistic representations in neural network representations.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. e87-e98
Launched on MUSE
2019-03-15
Open Access
No
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