This paper addresses the question to what extent morphological blocking in language is a rule-based phenomenon. We argue that language users do not operate with a blocking rule, but that a form preference emerges as a result of cognitive selection mechanisms in a neural network of linguistic information. The actual target form develops its own token frequency in a probabilistic process, known as Preferential Attachment. After some time and some generations, one form will develop a nearly absolute dominance with its own local token frequency. This model implies that there is no blocking as an active negative action, but only a local lemma specific frequency, built up by a stochastic Preferential Attachment process, which favours one of the theoretically possible forms and, as a consequence, ‘suppresses’ the other options.
|Title of host publication||Competition in Inflection and Word-Formation|
|Editors||F. Rainer, F. Gardani, W.U. Dressler, H.C. Luschützky|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
|Name||Studies in Morphology|
Versloot, A. P., & Hoekstra, E. (2019). Blocking as a Function of the Nature of Linguistic Representations: Where Psycholinguistics and Morphology Meet. In F. Rainer, F. Gardani, W. U. Dressler, & H. C. Luschützky (Eds.), Competition in Inflection and Word-Formation (pp. 145-166). (Studies in Morphology; Vol. 5). Springer.