Puzzle-Puddle-Pickle Problem / Duke York

This is Part 2 in our Problems with Non-Chinese Pickles series, a companion to our Problems with Chinese Pickles series (which, through a baffling scheduling re-arrangement, will appear here at a distant point in the future).

A study from Indiana University picks at a pronounced pickle of a puzzle:

The Puzzle-Puddle-Pickle Problem and the Duke-of-York Gambit in Acquisition,” DANIEL A. DINNSEN, KATHLEEN M. O’CONNOR & JUDITH A. GIERUT, Journal of Linguistics, vol. 37, 201, 2001, pp. 503-525. The authors explain:

Two classic and previously unrelated problems are reconsidered for their implications for optimality theory and acquisition. The puzzle-puddle-pickle problem centers on the debate over children’s underlying representations and the characterization of interacting error patterns which, when lost, result in overgeneralizations. In response to the challenges that this problem poses, an optimality theoretic solution is offered that appeals to the second problem, the Duke-of-York gambit, which involves co- occurring generalizations with reverse effects. The solution avoids language-specific restrictions on input representations and characterizes the loss and introduction of errors by one mechanism. New insight is offered for when overgeneralization is (not) expected to occur.

Improbable Research