Lecture 4

So you must have innate knowledge about the dierence

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Unformatted text preview:   These biases are innate, and universal: Universal Grammar Aspects of Chomskyan Grammar   Example of the poverty of the stimulus   You can take some intransitive verbs, like roll, and make them transitive ▪  The watermelon rolled (intransitive) ▪  The kids rolled the watermelon (transitive)   But others you can’t, like giggle ▪  The kids giggled (intransitive) ▪  * The clown giggled the kids (transitive)   There’s almost no explicit negative evidence: No ­one ever tells you that you can’t say giggle someone   So you must have some innate knowledge about differences in verb class Aspects of Chomskyan Grammar   Another example of the poverty of the stimulus   You can say both ▪  I drink coffee with milk ▪  What do you drink coffee with?   But… ▪  I drink coffee and milk. ▪  *What do you drink coffee and?   There’s no explicit negative evidence: No ­one ever tells you that you can’t say what did you have x and?   So you must have innate knowledge about the difference between conjunctions (and) and prepositions (with) Aspects of Chomskyan Grammar   But of course languages differ   Languages can put subjects before verbs or the reverse   They can have prepositions before nouns or nouns before postpositions   So Universal Grammar has to have some flexibility, so ­called parameters.   What the child has to do is learn to set the right parameters for the language (s)he is learning Aspects of Chomskyan Grammar   Universal Grammar seems to include specifically linguistic predispositions   There’s a lot of argument about whether they are evidence for modularity of syntax and language   In general, Chomskyans come down on the modular side, arguing that what kids know innately about language is specifically linguistic, but the evidence is mostly intuition (how could word ­order be non ­linguistic?) Aspects of Chomskyan Grammar   In a nutshell, that’s still the mainstream view that most linguists hold   Grammar is a set of meaning ­free rules   They are generative   It’s acquired using innate, universal biases   These evolved just for language T...
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This note was uploaded on 02/09/2014 for the course COGS 101c taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at UCSD.

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