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Empirical Questions About Developmental Psycholinguistics Raised by a Theory of Language Acquisition

  • Kenneth Wexler
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 4b)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Language Acquisition Learning Procedure Learning Mechanism Formal Constraint Instantaneous Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth Wexler
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California at IrvineUSA

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