Quantifying cross-linguistic influence with a computational model

A study of case-marking comprehension

Yevgen Matusevych, Afra Alishahi, Albert Backus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Cross-linguistic influence (CLI) is one of the key phenomena in bilingual and second language learning. We propose a method for quantifying CLI in the use of linguistic constructions with the help of a computational model, which acquires constructions in two languages from bilingual input. We focus on the acquisition of case-marking cues in Russian and German and simulate two experiments that employ a picture-choice task tapping into the mechanisms of sentence interpretation. Our model yields behavioral patterns similar to human, and these patterns can be explained by the amount of CLI: the negative CLI in high amounts leads to the misinterpretation of participant roles in Russian and German object-verb-subject sentences. Finally, we make two novel predictions about the acquisition of case-marking cues in Russian and German. Most importantly, our simulations suggest that the high degree of positive CLI may facilitate the interpretation of object-verb-subject sentences.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLinguistic Approaches to Bilingualism
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2017

Fingerprint

comprehension
linguistics
interpretation
language
Case Marking
Computational Model
Cross-linguistic Influence
simulation
experiment
learning
Subject-object-verb

Keywords

  • cross-linguistic influence
  • computational model
  • case marking

Cite this

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title = "Quantifying cross-linguistic influence with a computational model: A study of case-marking comprehension",
abstract = "Cross-linguistic influence (CLI) is one of the key phenomena in bilingual and second language learning. We propose a method for quantifying CLI in the use of linguistic constructions with the help of a computational model, which acquires constructions in two languages from bilingual input. We focus on the acquisition of case-marking cues in Russian and German and simulate two experiments that employ a picture-choice task tapping into the mechanisms of sentence interpretation. Our model yields behavioral patterns similar to human, and these patterns can be explained by the amount of CLI: the negative CLI in high amounts leads to the misinterpretation of participant roles in Russian and German object-verb-subject sentences. Finally, we make two novel predictions about the acquisition of case-marking cues in Russian and German. Most importantly, our simulations suggest that the high degree of positive CLI may facilitate the interpretation of object-verb-subject sentences.",
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Quantifying cross-linguistic influence with a computational model : A study of case-marking comprehension. / Matusevych, Yevgen; Alishahi, Afra; Backus, Albert.

In: Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 23.05.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Quantifying cross-linguistic influence with a computational model

T2 - A study of case-marking comprehension

AU - Matusevych, Yevgen

AU - Alishahi, Afra

AU - Backus, Albert

PY - 2017/5/23

Y1 - 2017/5/23

N2 - Cross-linguistic influence (CLI) is one of the key phenomena in bilingual and second language learning. We propose a method for quantifying CLI in the use of linguistic constructions with the help of a computational model, which acquires constructions in two languages from bilingual input. We focus on the acquisition of case-marking cues in Russian and German and simulate two experiments that employ a picture-choice task tapping into the mechanisms of sentence interpretation. Our model yields behavioral patterns similar to human, and these patterns can be explained by the amount of CLI: the negative CLI in high amounts leads to the misinterpretation of participant roles in Russian and German object-verb-subject sentences. Finally, we make two novel predictions about the acquisition of case-marking cues in Russian and German. Most importantly, our simulations suggest that the high degree of positive CLI may facilitate the interpretation of object-verb-subject sentences.

AB - Cross-linguistic influence (CLI) is one of the key phenomena in bilingual and second language learning. We propose a method for quantifying CLI in the use of linguistic constructions with the help of a computational model, which acquires constructions in two languages from bilingual input. We focus on the acquisition of case-marking cues in Russian and German and simulate two experiments that employ a picture-choice task tapping into the mechanisms of sentence interpretation. Our model yields behavioral patterns similar to human, and these patterns can be explained by the amount of CLI: the negative CLI in high amounts leads to the misinterpretation of participant roles in Russian and German object-verb-subject sentences. Finally, we make two novel predictions about the acquisition of case-marking cues in Russian and German. Most importantly, our simulations suggest that the high degree of positive CLI may facilitate the interpretation of object-verb-subject sentences.

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KW - computational model

KW - case marking

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JO - Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism

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