Sentence Comprehension: A Parallel Distributed Processing Approach

J. L. McClelland, Mark St John, Roman Taraban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


In this paper, we review basic aspects of conventional approaches to sentence Comprehension and point out some of the difficulties faced by models that take these approaches. We then describe an alternative approach, based on the principles of parallel distributed processing, and show how it offers different answers to basic questions about the nature of the language processing mechanism. We describe an illustrative simulation model that captures the key characteristics of the approach, and illustrate how it can cope with the difficulties faced by conventional models. We describe alternative ways of conceptualising basic aspects of language processing within the framework of this approach, consider how it can address several arguments that might be brought to bear against it, and suggest avenues for future development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)SI287-SI335
Journallanguage and Cognitive Processes
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 1 1989


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