Language Learning and Language Universals
Keywords: first language acquisition, statistical inference, universal grammar
AbstractThis paper explores the role of learning in generative grammar, highlighting interactions between distributional patterns in the environment and the innate structure of the language faculty. Reviewing three case studies, it is shown how learners use their language faculties to leverage the environment, making inferences from distributions to grammars that would not be licensed in the absence of a richly structured hypothesis space.
Authors who submit to and publish with BIOLINGUISTICS agree to the following terms:
- The author(s) retain(s) copyright and grant(s) the journal the right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons CC-BY License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in BIOLINGUISTICS.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., archiving a format-free manuscript in institutional repositories, on their personal website, or a preprint server such as LingBuzz, PsyArXiv, or similar) prior to and during the submission process, because we believe that this behaviour can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (see The Effect of Open Access).