Article published in:The Limits of Syntactic Variation
Edited by Theresa Biberauer
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 132] 2008
► pp. 459–482
Can children tell us anything we did not know about parameter clustering?
The present paper provides evidence that children are not different fromadults with respect to phrase structure building, a process considered tobe highly dependent on feature valuation. Lexical heads are taken fromthe lexicon with open feature values that are specified in the course of thederivation. Under such a view, linguistic development is mainly restrictedto the lexicon, the projection of functional structure following from thestepwise identification and valuation of the features encoded by themorphological markers on lexical items. Based on data from child language,it is argued that language acquisition consists in choosing the particularvalues that correspond to the target language.
Published online: 17 September 2008