Language acquisition in the absence of experience

  title={Language acquisition in the absence of experience},
  author={Stephen Crain},
  journal={Behavioral and Brain Sciences},
  pages={597 - 612}
  • S. Crain
  • Published 1 December 1991
  • Linguistics
  • Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Abstract A fundamental goal of linguistic theory is to explain how natural languages are acquired. This paper describes some recent findings on how learners acquire syntactic knowledge for which there is little, if any, decisive evidence from the environment. The first section presents several general observations about language acquisition that linguistic theory has tried to explain and discusses the thesis that certain linguistic properties are innate because they appear universally and in… 

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When grammar wins over sense: Children's judgments of extraposed relatives

  • H. Goodluck
  • Psychology, Linguistics
    Journal of psycholinguistic research
  • 1989
Children's performance on the judgment task shows, that they are capable of abstracting away from the pragmatics of the immediate situation in making judgments and can be construed as evidence that children construct mental representations for the sentences they judge in which an NP over NP S structure is constructed at a level distinct from the surface structure string.