Jon A Willits's research while affiliated with University of California, Riverside and other places

Publications (3)

Conference Paper
Full-text available
Some researchers claim that language acquisition is critically dependent on experiencing linguistic input in order of increasing complexity. We set out to test this hypothesis using a simple recurrent neural network (SRN) trained to predict word sequences in CHILDES, a 5-million-word corpus of speech directed to children. First, we demonstrated tha...
Article
Full-text available
Some researchers claim that language acquisition is critically dependent on experiencing linguistic input in order of increasing complexity. We set out to test this hypothesis using a simple recurrent neural network (SRN) trained to predict word sequences in CHILDES, a 5-million-word corpus of speech directed to children. First, we demonstrated tha...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has suggested that distributional learning mechanisms may contribute to the acquisition of semantic knowledge. However, distributional learning mechanisms, statistical learning, and contemporary “deep learning” approaches have been criticized for being incapable of learning the kind of abstract and structured knowledge that many t...

Citations

... There are two strong arguments for the plausibility of this proposal. First, extensive evidence attests that co-occurrence regularities that can foster semantic links are abundant in language (Hofmann et al., 2018;Jones & Mewhort, 2007;Landauer & Dumais, 1997;Lund & Burgess, 1996;Mikolov et al., 2013), including input to young children (Asr, Willits, & Jones, 2016;Fourtassi, Scheinfeld, & Frank, 2019;Huebner & Willits, 2018). Second, even infants show sensitivity to co-occurrence regularities in a variety of domains (e.g., Kirkham, Slemmer, & Johnson, 2002;Saffran, Aslin, & Newport, 1996;Saffran, Johnson, Aslin, & Newport, 1999), including to direct cooccurrences of words in language (Wojcik shared taxonomic direct associative "I bought some really juicy apples." ...