A Child Verb Learning Model Based on Syntactic Bootstrapping

Tiansheng XU  Zenshiro KAWASAKI  Keiji TAKIDA  Zheng TANG  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E85-D    No.6    pp.985-993
Publication Date: 2002/06/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science
syntactic bootstrapping,  subcategorization frame,  thematic role,  language acquisition,  child verb learning,  

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This paper presents a child verb learning model mainly based on syntactic bootstrapping. The model automatically learns 4-5-year-old children's linguistic knowledge of verbs, including subcategorization frames and thematic roles, using a text in dialogue format. Subcategorization frame acquisition of verbs is guided by the assumption of the existence of nine verb prototypes. These verb prototypes are extracted based on syntactic bootstrapping and some psycholinguistic studies. Thematic roles are assigned by syntactic bootstrapping and other psycholinguistic hypotheses. The experiments are performed on the data from the CHILDES database. The results show that the learning model successfully acquires linguistic knowledge of verbs and also suggest that psycholinguistic studies of child verb learning may provide important hints for linguistic knowledge acquisition in natural language processing (NLP).