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The Price of Linguistic ProductivityHow Children Learn to Break the Rules of Language$
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Charles. Yang

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035323

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035323.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 15 June 2021

The Inevitability of Rules

The Inevitability of Rules

(p.15) 2 The Inevitability of Rules
The Price of Linguistic Productivity

Charles Yang

The MIT Press

A review of statistical facts of language especially morphology and children’s acquisition of morphology with focus on productivity. Contrary to popular beliefs, productivity should be understood as a categorical notion in language, judging from the now extensive cross-linguistic studies of language acquisition. Why language must make use of a small set of wide-ranging rules, rather than memorized expressions, and why this is a difficult task for the child learner who acquires language in a few short years.

Keywords:   Corpus linguistics, Natural language processing, Zipf’s Law, Morphological acquisition, Productivity

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