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LINGUIST List 23.5391

Thu Dec 20 2012

Books: Rich Languages From Poor Inputs: Piattelli-Palmarini, Berwick (Eds)

Editor for this issue: Rebekah McClure <rebekahlinguistlist.org>

Date: 12-Dec-2012
From: Helen Boyd <helen.boydoup.com>
Subject: Rich Languages From Poor Inputs: Piattelli-Palmarini, Berwick (Eds)
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Title: Rich Languages From Poor Inputs
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Book URL: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199590339.do

Editor: Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini
Editor: Robert C. Berwick

Hardback: ISBN: 9780199590339 Pages: 336 Price: U.K. £ 60.00


This book addresses one of the most famous and controversial arguments in the
study of language and mind, the Poverty of the Stimulus. Presented by Chomsky
in 1968, the argument holds that children do not receive enough evidence to
infer the existence of core aspects of language, such as the dependence of
linguistic rules on hierarchical phrase structure. The argument strikes
against empiricist accounts of language acquisition and supports the
conclusion that knowledge of some aspects of grammar must be innate. In the
first part of Rich Grammars from Poor Inputs, contributors consider the
general issues around the POS argument, review the empirical data, and offer
new and plausible explanations. This is followed by a discussion of the the
processes of language acquisition, and observed 'gaps' between adult and child
grammar, concentrating on the late spontaneous acquisition by children of some
key syntactic principles, basically, though not exclusively, between the ages
of 5 to 9. Part 3 widens the horizon beyond language acquisition in the narrow
sense, examining the natural development of reading and writing and of the
child's growing sensitivity for the fine arts.

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition
Linguistic Theories

Written In: English (eng)

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