Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Clahsen: Rules of language

Single mechanism but not single route: Learning verb inflections in constructivist neural networks

Gert Westermann a1
a1 Division of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation, Edinburgh EH8 9LW, Scotland


Clahsen's theory raises problems that make it seem untenable. As an alternative, a constructivist neural network model is reported that develops a modular architecture and in which a single associative mechanism produces all inflections, displaying an emergent dissociation between regular and irregular verbs. Thus, Clahsen's rejection of associative models of inflection concerns only a subgroup of these models.