Empirical Questions About Developmental Psycholinguistics Raised by a Theory of Language Acquisition
I take it that the chief concern of developmental psycholinguistics is the question of how the child learns language. Following Chomsky (1965, Chapter 1, and many other places) I take it that this problem is also the major concern of linguistic theory. Yet it is my impression that there is a tension between the two disciplines, as if the two disciplines gave two different kinds of answers to the same question. It seems to me rather that the situation would be more productive for science as a whole if the relationship between the two disciplines were more like a division of labour than one of competing viewpoints. In my opinion the tension exists at least partly because of a conceptual confusion. In this paper I would first like to explicate that confusion and then to sketch out, with examples from my own work, ways of making the relationship between the two disciplines more productive.
KeywordsLanguage Acquisition Learning Procedure Learning Mechanism Formal Constraint Instantaneous Model
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