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The hidden dangers of computer modelling: remarks on Sokolik and Smith's connectionist learning model of French gender

Susanne E. Carroll
Second Language Research
Vol. 11, No. 3 (October 1995), pp. 193-205
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43103455
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The hidden dangers of computer modelling: remarks on Sokolik and Smith's connectionist learning model of French gender
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Abstract

Sokolik and Smith (1992) conducted three computer modelling experiments involving the learning of French gender attribution using a connectionist architecture. Their device learns to classify nouns quickly, given only letterplus-position information about word spellings and feedback about the match between the target and the device's output. In particular, the device is not programmed with rules nor does it acquire any. Sokolik and Smith conclude that their model of gender attribution and the acquisition thereof has relevance for SLA. In these remarks, I show why this conclusion is wrong.

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