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 [email protected]


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.