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Computational investigations of language acquisition: developing a model

Grant number: 09/17172-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2010
Effective date (End): September 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Linguistic Theory and Analysis
Principal Investigator:Ruth Elisabeth Vasconcellos Lopes
Grantee:Pablo Picasso Feliciano de Faria
Host Institution: Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (IEL). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


This research project aims to investigate the computational and linguistic implications of the changes to Berwick's (1985) acquisition model proposed in Faria (2009). The theoretical framework is the generative grammar, in a broader sense (ie., beyond the Chomskian perspective), although the starting point to the issues discussed here are the proposals of Chomsky (1957 and later). The underlying idea of this project is the search for an alternative approach - perhaps more abstract - to the grammatical knowledge in order to develop Berwick's acquisition model so that it be more robust - expanding the set of grammatical knowledge it may learn - and universal - expanding the set of languages it may work with. These two important limitations of Berwick's model lead us to conclude that the theoretical model of the grammar it is based on may contain idiossincracies (in this case, from English and similar languages) thus missing the level of abstraction needed to reach a more universal acquisition model. Hence the motivation for the proposals in Faria (2009) and its investigation in the present research project. Although the linguistic reflection this research suggests is primarily concerned with the computational investigation, we believe that the results achieved here may render concrete and relevant support to the development of linguistic grammatical theory thereby making explicit the contributions that this kind of investigation may offer to linguistic theory.

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
FARIA, Pablo Picasso Feliciano de. Properties of natural languages and the acquisitions process. 2013. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem Campinas, SP.

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