Motor influences on grammar in an emergentist model of phonology

with Tara McAllister

Published in Language and Linguistics Compass, 2016

Recommended citation: McAllister Byun, Tara and Anne-Michelle Tesser. (2016). "Motor influences on grammar in an emergentist model of phonology" Language and Linguistics Compass. 10(9).

This paper focuses on bringing together two literatures that have evolved largely independently. The first explores how speech-motor patterns practiced during babbling come to be disproportionately represented in the lexicon in children’s earliest stages of meaningful speech. The second posits that abstract elements of phonology – segments, features, and constraints – can be understood to emerge from generalizations over stored memory traces at a more holistic level. We argue that an emergentist model of phonological learning can be enhanced by incorporating the insight that memory traces of strings that have been heard and produced are encoded more robustly than strings that have only been heard.

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