Learning nonadjacent dependencies


Book Section


Perruchet, P., Poulin-Charronnat, B., Pacton, S.




Learning nonadjacent dependencies

Journal / Livre / Conférence

Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning


Nonadjacent dependencies are present whenever
a relation exists between two events, A and C,
irrespective of the intervening events. This structure is
often referred to as AXC, where X stands for a variable
event that is statistically independent from both A and
C. An example of nonadjacent dependencies is the
relationship between auxiliaries and inflectional
morphemes, as in “is writing” in English, which occurs
irrespective of the verb stem. The mastery of this kind
of structure in the language area has been endowed
with major theoretical implications in a Chomskyan
perspective, and as a consequence, most research has
been carried out in the language domain. However, it is
worth pointing out that capturing the relationships
between distant events is essential in many other
situations. As claimed by Turk-Browne et al. (2005),
“people are constantly bombarded with noise in space
and time that needs to be segregated in order to extract
a coherent representation of the world, and people
rarely encounter a sequence of relevant stimuli without
any interruptions” (p. 562).




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