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Hypothesis and Theory ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02212

Integrated, not isolated: Defining typological proximity in an integrated multilingual architecture

  • 1Department of Germanic & Slavic Languages & Literatures, Pennsylvania State University, United States
  • 2College of Information Sciences and Technology, Pennsylvania State University, United States
  • 3Department of Spanish, Italian, & Portuguese, Pennsylvania State University, United States

On the surface, bi- and multilingualism would seem to be an ideal context for exploring questions of typological proximity. The obvious intuition is that the more closely related two languages are, the easier it should be to implement the two languages in one mind. This is the starting point adopted here, but we immediately run into the difficulty that the overwhelming majority of cognitive, computational, and linguistic research on bi- and multilingualism exhibits a monolingual bias (i.e., where monolingual grammars are used as the standard or comparison for outputs from bilingual grammars). The primary questions so far have focused on how bilinguals balance and switch between their two languages, but our perspective on typology leads us to consider the nature of bi- and multi-lingual systems as a whole. Following an initial proposal from Hsin (2014), we conjecture that bilingual grammars are neither isolated, nor (completely) conjoined with one another in the bilingual mind, but rather exist as integrated source grammars that are further mitigated by a common, combined grammar (Cook, 2016; Goldrick et al., 2016a,b; Putnam & Klosinski, to appear). Here we conceive such a combined grammar in a parallel, distributed, and gradient architecture implemented in a shared vector-space model that employs compression through routinization and dimensionality reduction. We discuss the emergence of such representations and functioning in the minds of bilinguals. This architecture aims to be consistent with empirical results on bilingual cognition and memory representations in computational cognitive architectures.

Keywords: typological proximity, bilingualism, Computational modelling, Parallel architectures, Vector Space Models

Received: 30 Jun 2017; Accepted: 05 Dec 2017.

Edited by:

Kleanthes K. Grohmann, University of Cyprus, Cyprus

Reviewed by:

Terje Lohndal, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Lisa Hsin, University of Alabama, United States  

Copyright: © 2017 Putnam, Reitter and Carlson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Michael T. Putnam, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Germanic & Slavic Languages & Literatures, 239 Burrowes, University Park, 16802, Pennsylvania, United States,