Poverty of the stimulus

Poverty of the stimulus - Poverty of the stimulus From...

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Poverty of the stimulus From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Ten things you didn't know about Wikipedia The poverty of the stimulus ( POTS ) argument is a variant of the epistemological problem of the indeterminacy of data to theory that claims that grammar is unlearnable given the linguistic data available to children. As such, the argument strikes against empiricist accounts of language acquisition . Inversely, the argument is usually construed as in favour of linguistic nativism because it leads to the conclusion that knowledge of some aspects of grammar must be innate. Nativists claim that humans are born with a specific representational adaptation for language that both funds and limits their competence to acquire specific types of natural languages over the course of their cognitive development and linguistic maturation. The basic idea informs the teachings of Socrates , Plato , and the Pythagoreans , pervades the work of the Cartesian linguists and Wilhelm von Humboldt , and surfaces again with the contemporary linguistic theories of Noam Chomsky . The argument is now generally used to support theories and hypotheses of generative grammar . The name was coined by Chomsky in his work Rules and Representations (Chomsky, 1980). The thesis emerged out of several of Chomsky's writings on the issue of language acquisition . The argument has been persuasive within linguistics, forming the empirical backbone for the theory of universal grammar . It is taught to students in most linguistics and psycholinguistics courses. Despite a large body of criticism it remains popular amongst linguists. Contents [ hide ] 1 Summary of the argument 2 Evidence for the argument 3 Criticisms of the argument 4 References 5 See also 6 External links [ edit ] Summary of the argument
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Though Chomsky reiterated the argument in a variety of different manners, one common structure to the argument can be summed up as follows: Premises: 1. There are patterns in all natural languages (i.e. human languages) that cannot be learned by children using positive evidence alone. Positive evidence is the set of grammatical sentences the language learner has access to, that is, by observing the speech of others. Negative evidence , on the other hand, is the evidence available to the language learner about what is not grammatical. For instance, when a parent corrects a child's speech, the child acquires negative evidence. 2.
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Poverty of the stimulus - Poverty of the stimulus From...

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