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Understanding and Measuring Morphological Complexity$
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Matthew Baerman, Dunstan Brown, and Greville G. Corbett

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198723769

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723769.001.0001

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Computational complexity of abstractive morphology

Computational complexity of abstractive morphology

Chapter:
(p.141) 8 Computational complexity of abstractive morphology
Source:
Understanding and Measuring Morphological Complexity
Author(s):

Vito Pirrelli

Marcello Ferro

Claudia Marzi

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723769.003.0008

Blevins’ distinction between abstractive and constructive approaches to word structure has proved to be of general theoretical interest, taking stock of considerably different descriptive statements and implications at the level of grammar architecture. This chapter intends to show that the two views are also computationally different and that such a difference in complexity is rooted in the way word competence is conceptualized: as a static repository of morphological primitives and rules for their (dis)assembly in the constructive view; as one dynamic set of relations among fully inflected forms in the abstractive view. Criticisms traditionally levelled at connectionist architectures for morphology acquisition are reappraised in this perspective, to argue that a number of computational liabilities of multi‐layered perceptrons are effectively addressed by a neutrally inspired implementation of the lexicon as a dynamical system, resting on the key notions of self-organization, competition, and emergence.

Keywords:   morphology acquisition, self-organization, connectionism, dynamical systems, computational complexity, emergence, abstractive morphology

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