It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
The Cambridge Handbook of Communication Disorders examines the full range of developmental and acquired communication disorders and provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive guide to the epidemiology, aetiology and clinical features of these disorders.
Linguistic Nativism and the Poverty of the Stimulus
"Linguistic Nativism and the Poverty of the Stimulus" explores the question
of how children acquire knowledge of their native language, one of the most
difficult and long-standing problems in cognitive science. For the past
fifty years linguistics and psychology have been dominated by the view that
the linguistic input which children receive is insufficient to explain the
rich and rapid development of their knowledge of their first language(s)
through general learning mechanisms. This view holds that humans have a
specialized, innate ability to learn language, which is species-specific.
Clark and Lappin critically examine different forms of the argument from
the poverty of the stimulus (APS) in connection with the architecture of
the mind, the evolution of language, and formal models of learning. With
cogent explanations of machine learning and computational complexity in
learning, The book argues that if we make realistic assumptions about the
way in which children actually learn their native language, then it is
possible to explain this process largely through general methods of
induction that extract structure and patterns from data across many
different kinds of information. The authors, one a computational linguist
and the other an expert in computational learning theory, have collaborated
to produce a work that will surely spark further debate and research.