Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Robert Melara

Committee Members

Vivien C. Tartter

James B. Marshall

Martin Chodorow

Heng Ji

Subject Categories

Developmental Psychology | Psychology


At the computational level, language is often assumed to require both supervised and unsupervised learning. Although we have a certain understanding of these computational processes both biologically and behaviorally, our understanding of the environmental conditions under which language learning takes place falls short. I examine the semi-supervised learning paradigm as the most accurate computational description of the environmental conditions of lexical acquisition during language development. This paradigm is assessed for task learning and generalization and I argue that its real ecological validity and occasional improvements in performance over supervised learning make it an ideal candidate for modeling of language acquisition and other learning problems.


Digital reproduction from the UMI microform.



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