How Do Children Develop Syntactic Representations from What They Hear?

  • Elena Lieven
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4211)


Children learn language from what they hear. In dispute is what mechanisms they bring to this task. Clearly some of these mechanisms have evolved to support the human speech capacity but this leaves a wide field of possibilities open. The question I will address in my paper is whether we need to postulate an innate \(\underline{syntactic}\)module that has evolved to make the learning of language structure possible. I will suggest that more general human social and cognitive capacities may be all that is needed to support the learning of syntactic structure.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Lieven
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary AnthropologyLeipzig
  2. 2.School of Psychological SciencesUniversity of Manchester 

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