LINGUIST List 22.654

Tue Feb 08 2011

Books: Cognitive Sci/Lang Acquisition/Philosophy of Lang: Clark, Lappin

Editor for this issue: Fatemeh Abdollahi <>

        1.     Katherine Ward , Linguistic Nativism and the Poverty of the Stimulus: Clark, Lappin

Message 1: Linguistic Nativism and the Poverty of the Stimulus: Clark, Lappin
Date: 27-Oct-2010
From: Katherine Ward <>
Subject: Linguistic Nativism and the Poverty of the Stimulus: Clark, Lappin
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Title: Linguistic Nativism and the Poverty of the Stimulus Published: 2011 Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Book URL:

Author: Alexander Clark Author: Shalom Lappin Hardback: ISBN: 1405187840 9781405187848 Pages: 272 Price: U.S. $ 99.95

"Linguistic Nativism and the Poverty of the Stimulus" explores the questionof how children acquire knowledge of their native language, one of the mostdifficult and long-standing problems in cognitive science. For the pastfifty years linguistics and psychology have been dominated by the view thatthe linguistic input which children receive is insufficient to explain therich and rapid development of their knowledge of their first language(s)through general learning mechanisms. This view holds that humans have aspecialized, innate ability to learn language, which is species-specific.

Clark and Lappin critically examine different forms of the argument fromthe poverty of the stimulus (APS) in connection with the architecture ofthe mind, the evolution of language, and formal models of learning. Withcogent explanations of machine learning and computational complexity inlearning, The book argues that if we make realistic assumptions about theway in which children actually learn their native language, then it ispossible to explain this process largely through general methods ofinduction that extract structure and patterns from data across manydifferent kinds of information. The authors, one a computational linguistand the other an expert in computational learning theory, have collaboratedto produce a work that will surely spark further debate and research.

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science                             Language Acquisition                             Philosophy of Language
Written In: English (eng )

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