Inherent Biases of Recurrent Neural Networks for Phonological Assimilation and Dissimilation
Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics (CMCL 2017)
A recurrent neural network model of phonological pattern learning is proposed. The model is a relatively simple neural network with one recurrent layer, and displays biases in learning that mimic observed biases in human learning. Single-feature patterns are learned faster than two-feature patterns, and vowel or consonant-only patterns are learned faster than patterns involving vowels and consonants, mimicking the results of laboratory learning experiments. In non-recurrent models, capturing these biases requires the use of alpha features or some other representation of repeated features, but with a recurrent neural network, these elaborations are not necessary.