Jul 7 – 15, 2016
SISSA main building
Europe/Rome timezone

From memory processes to lexical self-organisation: a biologically-motivated integrative view of the morphological lexicon

Jul 12, 2016, 2:30 PM
1h 30m
Meeting room (7th floor) (SISSA main building)

Meeting room (7th floor)

SISSA main building

via Bonomea 265, 34136, Trieste, Italy


Dr Vito Pirrelli (CNR, Pisa)


According to “Words and Paradigm” approaches to morphological competence (Blevins 2006 among others), mastering the inflectional system of a language amounts to acquiring an increasing number of constraints on how paradigm are filled in by full word forms (see Ackerman et al. 2009; Finkel & Stump 2007; Pirrelli & Battista 2000; Matthews 1991; among others). Linguistic and developmental evidence on word paradigms has met recent developments in Computational Linguistics and Neurolinguistics. Self-organising artificial neural networks (Kohonen 2001; Pirrelli et al. 2015, Marzi & Pirrelli 2015) have offered an algorithmic account of the hypothesis that the mental lexicon is a highly-redundant, dynamic store of full words, which get co-activated and compete for selection during lexical processing. At the same time, recent advances in understanding the neuro-anatomical areas supporting memory (Wilson 2001; D’Esposito 2007; Ma et al. 2014) have showed that working memory consists in the transient activation of long-term memory structures, controlled and maintained by the integration of auditory-motor circuits in the perisylvian network (Catani et al. 2005; Shalom & Poeppel 2008). All these developments converge on the idea that stored lexical representations are in fact the long-term by-product of their processing history. In the talk, we illustrate simulative evidence supporting these insights and explore their theoretical implications for models of the mental lexicon. References Ackerman, Farrell; Blevins, James & Malouf, Robert 2009. Parts and wholes: implicative patterns in inflectional paradigms. In Blevins, James P. & Blevins, Juliette (eds.), Analogy in Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 54-82. Catani, Marco; Jones, Derek K. & ffytche, Dominic H. 2005. Perisylvian language networks of the human brain. Annals of Neurology 57. 8-16. D’Esposito, Mark 2007. From cognitive to neural models of working memory. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences 362. 761-772. Finkel, Raphael & Stump, Gregory. 2007. Principal parts and morphological typology. Morphology 17. 39-75. Kohonen, Teuvo 2001. Self-organizing maps. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. Ma, Wei J.; Husain, Masud & Bays, Paul M. 2014. Changing concepts of working memory. Nature neuroscience 17(3). 347-356. Marzi, Claudia & Pirrelli, Vito 2015. A Neuro-Computational Approach to Understanding the Mental Lexicon. Journal of Cognitive Science 16 (4). 491-533. Pirrelli, Vito; Ferro, Marcello & Marzi, Claudia 2015. Computational complexity of abstractive morphology. In Baerman, Matthew; Brown, Dustan % Corbett, Greville (eds.). Understanding and Measuring Morphological Complexity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 141-166. Pirrelli, Vito & Battista, Marco 2000. The paradigmatic dimension of stem allomorphy in Italian verb inflection. Italian Journal of Linguistics 12. 307-379. Matthews, Peter H. 1991. Morphology (second edition). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. Shalom, Dorit B. & Poeppel, David 2008. Functional Anatomic Models of Language: Assembling the Pieces. The Neuroscientist 14. 119-127. Wilson, Margaret. 2001. The case of sensorimotor coding in working memory. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 8(1). 44-57.

Presentation materials