A probabilistic approach to stress assignment in Arabic
Unlike previous rule/constraint-based analyses, this study approaches the stress system in Arabic from a completely probabilistic perspective. In this view of language, the stress system can be understood as interaction between various relevant types of conditioning factors for stress, which is given comprehensive quantitative description in this study. Using this statistical information, a probabilistic language model is constructed to simulate and examine whether stress could be acquired purely by learning from the statistical information without any presumed rules or constraints. The simulation results show that the probabilistic language model is very successful in acquiring stress in Arabic, which in turn gives strong support for a probabilistic view on stress acquisition and its viability as a language learning mechanism in general.
- The training data
- From dictionary entries into frequency distributions
- From frequency distributions to a probabilistic language model
- From a probabilistic language model to acquisition simulation