Connectionist Models of Language Development

Ping Li & Xiaowei Zhao

In: Encyclopedia of Language Development

Connectionist Models of Language Development

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  • Connectionism is an important theoretical framework as well as a computational tool for the study of mind and behavior. The approach gained popularity in the late 1980s, when David Rumelhart, James McClelland, and the PDP Research Group published two volumes on connectionism, although the connectionist ideas originated many years before then. Connectionism is often equated with two other names, Parallel Distributed Processing (PDP), or artificial neural networks, because it advocates that learning, representation, and processing are parallel, distributed, and interactive in nature. Connectionism also argues for the emergence of human cognition as the outcome of large networks of processing units that interact simultaneously according to basic neural principles. Language as a hallmark of human behavior has received in-depth treatment since the beginning of connectionist research, ...

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