Becker and Gouskova 2016

Michael Becker and Maria Gouskova. 2016. Source-oriented generalizations as grammar inference in Russian vowel deletion.  Linguistic Inquiry 47:3 pp. 391-425.

Speakers generalize paradigmatic relations from their lexicon, e.g., English speakers extend the existing fling ~ flung to the nonce spling ~ splung. Dominant theories in linguistics model such effects using product-oriented generalizations, replacing the older source-oriented rule-based theories. We report an experiment on the generalization of mid vowel deletion (“yer” deletion) in Russian, showing that speakers extend a source-oriented generalization in addition to product-oriented generalizations. We model the speakers’ behavior using multiple product-oriented grammars, with grammar separation triggered by inconsistent paradigmatic behavior. The speaker infers which product-oriented grammar to use based on the wellformedness of the source given each grammar.

Project page with experimental results