By Alexander Clark

This specific contribution to the continuing dialogue of language acquisition considers the Argument from the Poverty of the Stimulus in language studying within the context of the broader debate over cognitive, computational, and linguistic concerns.

  • Critically examines the Argument from the Poverty of the Stimulus - the idea that the linguistic enter which youngsters obtain is inadequate to provide an explanation for the wealthy and quick improvement in their wisdom in their first language(s) via basic studying mechanisms
  • Focuses on formal learnability houses of the category of common languages, thought of from the point of view of a number of studying theoretic models
  • The simply present ebook size research of arguments for the poverty of the stimulus which specializes in the computational studying theoretic facets of the problem

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Example text

Paradis & Prunet 1989 discuss this question with respect to Fula. Similar considerations are made by Marotta (1993) for Latin). This is a question that must obviously remain open, but it brings up another important point. Since the feature specifications posited in the preceding paragraphs (and in the remaining chapters) are intended to be universal, to what extent can individual languages deviate from these structures in being underspecified for some feature? The general difficulty can be illustrated with the following example.

Palatal fricatives pattern phonologically with noncoronals like velars and palatalized velars, which are both [+dorsal]. What my analysis therefore allows is natural classes like the ones in (21): The feature [-back] in (21) and below is understood to represent the tongue fronting that characterizes palatalized and palatal segments. 20 In the system I propose in §2 below the palatals , the alveolopalatals , and the palatoalveolars ([/, 3]) are [-back]. In contrast, velars are [+dorsal] and [+back], and alveolars and labials are not marked for either backness or dorsality.

Of the two possibilities, only (ii) is a serious alternative to the binary approach in (1). The reason (i) does not work is that there are languages with rules and/or constraints referring to nonstrident sounds to the exclusion of strident ones. g. the, that, they, them, there). e. [-strident], (or, alternatively [mellow], as in (ii) above). g. e. [-strident] and ^stri­ dent], or alternatively, [strident] and [mellow]). 4, the same generalization can be made concerning [+anterior] and [-anterior].

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