Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Clahsen: Rules of language

On the cross-linguistic validity of a dual-mechanism model

Margherita Orsolini a1
a1 Dipartimento di Psicologia dei Processi di Sviluppo e di Socializzazione, Università “La Sapienza,” 00185 Rome, Italy


Recent studies of Italian past definite and past participle forms show that human performance with regular and irregular inflections is not dissociated as Clahsen's model would predict. Some performance profiles, accounted for by dual-mechanism models in terms of an underlying symbol-manipulating combinatorial procedure, are generated in Italian by the higher learnability and generalizability of phonologically regular morphological processes.