Publications by Year: 1999

1999
(1999). Steven Pinker receives the 2016 William James Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science.
(1999). Steven Pinker elected to National Academy of Sciences.
Pinker, S. (1999). How Much Art Can the Brain Take?. The Independent .Abstract

This article is adapted from How the Mind Works (Penguin paperback, 1999).

Pinker, S. (1999). The Seven Wonders of the World Convocation Address at McGill University.
Pinker, S. (1999). His Brain Measured Up. New York Times. Publisher's Version
Pinker, S. (1999). Horton Heared a Who!. Time , 86.Abstract
What the slips of children tell us about language, history and the human mind.
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Pinker, S. (1999). Regular Habits. Times Literary Supplement. Publisher's Version
Pinker, S. (1999). Racist Language, Real and Imagined. New York Times.
Pinker, S. (1999). There Will Always be an English , Dec. 24, 1999. New York Times.
Berent, I., Pinker, S., & Shimron, J. (1999). Default nominal inflection in Hebrew: Evidence for mental variables. Cognition , 72, 1-44.Abstract

According to the ‘word/rule’ account, regular inflection is computed by a default, symbolic process, whereas irregular inflection is achieved by associative memory. Conversely, pattern- associator accounts attribute both regular and irregular inflection to an associative process. The acquisition of the default is ascribed to the asymmetry in the distribution of regular and irregular tokens. Irregular tokens tend to form tight, well-defined phonological clusters (e.g. sing-sang, ring-rang), whereas regular forms are diffusely distributed throughout the phono- logical space. This distributional asymmetry is necessary and sufficient for the acquisition of a regular default. Hebrew nominal inflection challenges this account. We demonstrate that Hebrew speakers use the regular masculine inflection as a default despite the overlap in the distribution of regular and irregular Hebrew masculine nouns. Specifically, Experiment 1 demonstrates that regular inflection is productively applied to novel nouns regardless of their similarity to existing regular nouns. In contrast, the inflection of irregular sounding nouns is strongly sensitive to their similarity to stored irregular tokens. Experiment 2 estab- lishes the generality of the regular default for novel words that are phonologically idiosyn- cratic. Experiment 3 demonstrates that Hebrew speakers assign the default regular inflection to borrowings and names that are identical to existing irregular nouns. The existence of default inflection in Hebrew is incompatible with the distributional asymmetry hypothesis. Our find- ings also lend no support for a type-frequency account. The convergence of the circumstances triggering default inflection in Hebrew, German and English suggests that the capacity for default inflection may be general.

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