Skip to main content

Exemplar-learning and schematization in a usage-based account of syntactic acquisition

Abbot-Smith, Kirsten, Tomasello, Michael (2006) Exemplar-learning and schematization in a usage-based account of syntactic acquisition. Linguistic Review, 23 (3). pp. 275-290. ISSN 0167-6318. (doi:10.1515/TLR.2006.011) (KAR id:25334)

PDF (Post Print) Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English
Download (186kB) Preview
[thumbnail of Post Print]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format
Official URL:


The early phases of syntactic acquisition are characterized by many input frequency and item effects, which argue against theories assuming innate access to classical syntactic categories. In formulating an alternative view, we consider both prototype and exemplar-learning models of categorization. We argue for a 'hybrid' usage-based view in which acquisition depends on exemplar learning and retention, out of which permanent abstract schemas gradually emerge and are immanent across the summed similarity of exemplar collections. These schemas are graded in strength depending on the number of exemplars and the degree to which semantic similarity is reinforced by phonological, lexical, and distributional similarity.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1515/TLR.2006.011
Additional information: ISI Document Delivery No.: 110RS Times Cited: 20 Cited Reference Count: 64 Abbot-Smith, Kirsten Tomasello, Michael Walter de gruyter & co Berlin
Uncontrolled keywords: word-order past tense children infants english abstraction knowledge productivity information categories
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Kirsten Abbot-Smith
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2010 17:00 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:03 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Abbot-Smith, Kirsten:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year