Journal article

Indirect evidence and the poverty of the stimulus: the case of anaphoric one.

Stephani Foraker, Terry Regier, Naveen Khetarpal, Amy Perfors, Joshua Tenenbaum

Cogn Sci | Published : 2009


It is widely held that children's linguistic input underdetermines the correct grammar, and that language learning must therefore be guided by innate linguistic constraints. Here, we show that a Bayesian model can learn a standard poverty-of-stimulus example, anaphoric one, from realistic input by relying on indirect evidence, without a linguistic constraint assumed to be necessary. Our demonstration does, however, assume other linguistic knowledge; thus, we reduce the problem of learning anaphoric one to that of learning this other knowledge. We discuss whether this other knowledge may itself be acquired without linguistic constraints.