Article published in:In Search of Universal Grammar: From Old Norse to Zoque
Edited by Terje Lohndal
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 202] 2013
► pp. 275–298
The acquisition of linguistic variation
Parameters vs. micro-cues
Against the backdrop of some traditional generative work on parameters as well as some recent constructivist work, this paper discusses how children handle variation that they are exposed to in the input. Investigating different types of word order variation, the paper finds no evidence for parameters in language acquisition data and instead argues for a model of micro-cues, according to which children are sensitive to fine distinctions in syntax and information structure from early on. Furthermore, the generalizations that are made in the acquisition process are argued to apply only to the relevant class or subcategory. This accounts for the lack of (over-)generalization in child data, often referred to as conservative learning.
Published online: 17 January 2013
Cited by other publications
Putnam, Michael T., Matthew Carlson & David Reitter
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 16 january 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.