Synergies in learning words and their referents

Mark Johnson*, Katherine Demuth, Michael Frank, Bevan K. Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents Bayesian non-parametric models that simultaneously learn to segment words from phoneme strings and learn the referents of some of those words, and shows that there is a synergistic interaction in the acquisition of these two kinds of linguistic information. The models themselves are novel kinds of Adaptor Grammars that are an extension of an embedding of topic models into PCFGs. These models simultaneously segment phoneme sequences into words and learn the relationship between non-linguistic objects to the words that refer to them. We show (i) that modelling inter-word dependencies not only improves the accuracy of the word segmentation but also of word-object relationships, and (ii) that a model that simultaneously learns word-object relationships and word segmentation segments more accurately than one that just learns word segmentation on its own. We argue that these results support an interactive view of language acquisition that can take advantage of synergies such as these.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23: 24th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems 2010, NIPS 2010
EditorsJ. Lafferty, C. K. Williams, J. Shawe-Taylor, R. S. Zemel, A. Culotta
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherNeural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) Foundation
Pages1018-1026
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781617823800
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event24th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems 2010, NIPS 2010 - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: 6 Dec 20109 Dec 2010

Other

Other24th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems 2010, NIPS 2010
CountryCanada
CityVancouver, BC
Period6/12/109/12/10

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  • Cite this

    Johnson, M., Demuth, K., Frank, M., & Jones, B. K. (2010). Synergies in learning words and their referents. In J. Lafferty, C. K. Williams, J. Shawe-Taylor, R. S. Zemel, & A. Culotta (Eds.), Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23: 24th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems 2010, NIPS 2010 (pp. 1018-1026). United States: Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) Foundation.