Paul Smolensky

Paul Smolensky is Professor of Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University. He was a leading member of the PDP connectionist research group, and is the recipient of the 2005 David E. Rumelhart Prize in Cognitive Science, which is awarded annually to an individual or collaborative team making a significant contribution to the formal analysis of human cognition.

  • Learnability in Optimality Theory

    Learnability in Optimality Theory

    Bruce Tesar and Paul Smolensky

    Highlighting the close relationship between linguistic explanation and learnability, Bruce Tesar and Paul Smolensky examine the implications of Optimality Theory (OT) for language learnability.

    Highlighting the close relationship between linguistic explanation and learnability, Bruce Tesar and Paul Smolensky examine the implications of Optimality Theory (OT) for language learnability. They show how the core principles of OT lead to the learning principle of constraint demotion, the basis for a family of algorithms that infer constraint rankings from linguistic forms.

    Of primary concern to the authors are the ambiguity of the data received by the learner and the resulting interdependence of the core grammar and the structural analysis of overt linguistic forms. The authors argue that iterative approaches to interdependencies, inspired by work in statistical learning theory, can be successfully adapted to address the interdependencies of language learning. Both OT and Constraint Demotion play critical roles in their adaptation. The authors support their findings both formally and through simulations. They also illustrate how their approach could be extended to other language learning issues, including subset relations and the learning of phonological underlying forms.

    • Hardcover $7.75 £5.99

Contributor

  • Hypothesis A / Hypothesis B

    Hypothesis A / Hypothesis B

    Linguistic Explorations in Honor of David M. Perlmutter

    Donna B. Gerdts, John C. Moore, and Maria Polinsky

    Essays reflecting the influence of the versatile linguist David M. Perlmutter, covering topics from theoretical morphology to sign language phonology.

    Anyone who has studied linguistics in the last half-century has been affected by the work of David Perlmutter. One of the era's most versatile linguists, he is perhaps best known as the founder (with Paul Postal) of Relational Grammar, but he has also made contributions to areas ranging from theoretical morphology to sign language phonology. Hypothesis A/Hypothesis B (the title evokes Perlmutter's characteristic style of linguistic argumentation) offers twenty-three essays by Perlmutter's colleagues and former students. Many of the contributions deal with the study of the world's languages (including Indo-European languages, sign language, and languages of the Americas), reflecting the influence of Perlmutter's cross-linguistic research and meticulous analysis of empirical data. Other topics include grammatical relations and their mapping; unaccusatives, impersonals, and the like; complex verbs, complex clauses, and Wh-constructions; and the nature of sign language. Perlmutter, currently Professor Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, and still actively engaged in the field, opens the volume with the illuminating and entertaining essay, “My Path in Linguistics.”

    Contributors Judith Aissen, Mark Aronoff, Leonard H. Babby, Nicoleta Bateman, J. Albert Bickford, Sandra Chung, William D. Davies, Stanley Dubinsky, Katarzyna Dziwirek, Patrick Farrell, Donald G. Frantz, Donna B. Gerdts, Alice C. Harris, Brian D. Joseph, Géraldine Legendre, Philip S. LeSourd, Joan Maling, Stephen A. Marlett, Diane Lillo-Martin, James McCloskey, Richard P. Meier, Irit Meir, John C. Moore, Carol A. Padden, Maria Polinsky, Eduardo P. Raposo, Richard A. Rhodes, Wendy Sandler, Paul Smolensky, Annie Zaenen

    • Hardcover $70.00 £58.00
    • Paperback $19.75 £15.99