Davis, M. H., van Casteren, M., Marslen-Wilson, W. D. (2003) "Frequency effects in processing inflected Dutch nouns: A distributed connectionist account" in Baayen, R. H. & Schreuder R. (Eds) Morphological Structure in Language Processing. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, p.427-462.
One source of evidence concerning the representation and processing of inflected words comes from frequency effects. Experiments in Dutch reported by Baayen, Dijkstra and Schreuder (1997) are interpreted as evidence for a dual-route race model in which inflected words are both stored as whole forms and decomposed into stems and affixes. In this paper we report two sets of neural network simulations demonstrating that a singlemechanism, distributed, connectionist model, trained to map from orthographic input to a representation of the meaning and inflectional status of words, can account for the Baayen et al. results without requiring two computational mechanisms. The pattern of frequency effects produced by this single-mechanism model depends critically on including homonymous affixes in the training set, such as the Dutch plural affix –en which also marks verb infinitives. This finding suggests that frequency effects for morphologically complex words can be accounted for in a distributed system, without postulating distinct processing mechanisms of whole-word storage and morphological decomposition.