Papers by Steven Pinker on the Psychology of Inflectional Morphology


To download PDFs, go to the Articles page on this website. See also my book Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language (1999, reprinted with an update in2011) for an informal overview of this research program.


Pinker, S. & Prince, A. (1988) On language and connectionism: Analysis of a parallel distributed processing model of language acquisition. Cognition, 28, 73-193. Reprinted in S. Pinker & J. Mehler (Eds.) (1988) Connections and symbols. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Prince, A. & Pinker, S. (1988) Rules and connections in human language. Trends in Neurosciences, 11, 195-202. Reprinted (1989) in R. G. Morris (Ed.), Parallel Distributed Processing: Implications for psychology and neurobiology. New York: Oxford University Press. Reprinted (1993) in J. Higginbotham (Ed.), Language and cognition. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. Reprinted (1999) in R. Cummins & D. D. Cummins (Eds.), Minds, brains, and computers. New York: Oxford University Press.

Prince, A., & Pinker, S. (1989) Wickelphone ambiguity. Cognition, 30, 189-190.

Kim, J. J., Pinker, S., Prince, A, & Prasada, S. (1991) Why no mere mortal has ever flown out to center field. Cognitive Science, 15, 173-218.

Pinker, S. (1991) Rules of language. Science, 253, 530-535. Reprinted (1993) in P. Bloom (Ed.), Language acquisition: Core readings. London: Harvester-Wheatsheaf. Reprinted (1996) in H. Geirsson & M. Losonsky (Eds.), Readings in language and mind. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. Reprinted in P. Thagard (Ed.), Mind readings: Introductory selections on cognitive science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Reprinted in A. Clark & J. Toribio (Eds.), Artificial intelligence and cognitive science: Conceptual issues. Hamden, CT: Garland. Reprinted (1999) in A. Slater & D. Muir (Eds.), The Blackwell reader in developmental psychology. Oxford: Blackwell. Reprinted (2002) in G. T. M. Altmann (Ed.), Psycholinguistics: Critical concepts. London: Routledge.

Marcus, G., Pinker, S., Ullman, M., Hollander, M., Rosen, T. J. & Xu, F. (1992) Overregularization in language acquisition. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 57 (4, Serial No. 228).

Prasada, S. & Pinker, S. (1993) Generalizations of regular and irregular morphology. Language and Cognitive Processes, 8, 1-56.

Marcus, G., Pinker, S., Ullman, M., Hollander, M., Rosen, T. J. & Xu, F. (1992) Overregularization in language acquisition. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 57 (4, Serial No. 228).

Pinker, S. & Prince, A. (1994) Regular and irregular morphology and the psychological status of rules of grammar. In S. D. Lima, R. L., Corrigan, & G. K. Iverson (Eds.), The reality of linguistic rules. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Kim, J. J., Marcus, G. F., Pinker, S., Hollander, M., & Coppola, M. (1994) Sensitivity of children’s inflection to morphological structure. Journal of Child Language, 21, 173-209. Reprinted in K. Perera, G. Collis, & B. Richards (Eds.), Growing points in child language.New York: Cambridge University Press.

Pinker, S. (1995) Why the child holded the baby rabbits: A case study in language acquisition. In L. Gleitman, & M. Liberman (Eds.), Invitation to Cognitive Science, 2nd Edition. Volume 1: Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Marcus, G. F., Brinkmann, U., Clahsen, H., Wiese, R., & Pinker, S. (1995) German inflection: The exception that proves the rule. Cognitive Psychology, 29, 189-256.

Xu, F. & Pinker, S. (1995) Weird past tense forms. Journal of Child Language, 22, 531-556.

Ullman, M., Corkin, S., Coppola, M., Hickok, G., Growdon, J. H., Koroshetz, W. J., & Pinker, S. (1997) A neural dissociation within language: Evidence that the mental dictionary is part of declarative memory, and that grammatical rules are processed by the procedural system. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 9, 289-299. Reprinted in Bánréti Zoltán (Ed.). Nyelvi Struktúrák és az Agy: Neurolingvisztikai Tanulmányok. Hungary.

Pinker, S. (1997) Words and rules in the human brain. Nature, 387, 547-548.

Pinker, S. (1998) Words and rules. Lingua, 106, 219-242. Reprinted in A. Sorace, C. Heycock, and R. Shillcock (Eds.), Generative approaches to language acquisition. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Berent, I., Pinker, S., & Shimron, J. (1999) Default nominal inflection in Hebrew: Evidence for mental variables. Cognition 72, 1-44.

Pinker, S. (1999) Words and rules: The ingredients of language. New York: HarperCollins.

Pinker, S. (2001) Four decades of rules and associations, or whatever happened to the past tense debate? In E. Dupoux (Ed.), Language, the brain, and cognitive development: Papers in honor of Jacques Mehler. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Pinker, S. & Ullman, M. (2002) The past and future of the past tense. Trends in Cognitive Science, 6, 456-463.

Pinker, S. & Ullman, M. (2002) Structure and combination, not gradedness, is the issue (Reply to McClelland and Patterson). Trends in Cognitive Science, 6, 472-474.

Berent, I., Pinker, S., & Shimron, J. (2002) The nature of regularity and irregularity: Evidence from Hebrew nominal inflection. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 31(5), 459-502

Pinker, S. & Ullman, M. (2003) Beyond one model per phenomenon. Trends in Cognitive Science, 7.

Berent, I., Pinker, S., Tzelgov, J., Bibi, U., & Goldfarb, L. (2005) Computation of semantic number from morphological information. Journal of Memory and Language, 53, 342-358.. 

Sahin, N., Pinker, & Halgren, E.. (2006) Abstract grammatical processing of nouns and verbs in Broca's Area: Evidence from fMRI. Cortex, 42, 540-562.

Berent, I., Pinker, S., & Ghavami, G. (2007) The dislike of regular plurals in compounds: Phonological familiarity or morphological constraint? The Mental Lexicon, 2, 129-181.

Berent, I. & Pinker, S. (2008) Compound formation is constrained by morphology: A reply to Seidenberg, MacDonald, & Haskell. The Mental Lexicon, 3, 176-187.

Sahin, N. T., Pinker, S., Cash, S. S., Schomer, D., & Halgren, E. (2009) Sequential processing of lexical, grammatical, and articulatory information within Broca’s area. Science, 326, 445-449.

Huang, Y.-T. & Pinker, S. (2010) Lexical semantics and irregular inflection. Language and Cognitive Processes, 25, 1-51.

Michel, J.-B., Shen, Y. K., Aiden, A. P., Veres, A., Gray, M. K., The_Google_Books_Team, Pickett, J. P., Hoiberg, D., Clancy, D. ,Norvig, P., Orwant, J., Pinker, S.,  Nowak, M., & Lieberman-Aiden, E.  (2011). Quantitative analysis of culture using millions of digitized books.  Science, 331, 176-182.

Ganger, J., Pinker, S., Chawla, S. & Birk, J. (in revision) A twin study of lexical and grammatical development: English past tense and past tense overregularization.

Senghas, A., Kim, J. J., & Pinker, S. (under review) Plurals in compounds.