Discontinuous Models of Linguistic Development

  • Nina M. Hyams
Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 3)


In the preceding chapters we focussed on the relationship between the principles and parameters of UG and the intermediate grammars. We argued that a parameterized theory of grammar allows for a principled explanation of various properties of early language including subjectless sentences, the absence of modals and auxiliares in English, the prior acquisition of modals and auxiliaries in Italian, and word order errors in German. More generally, we argued that grammatical development is a “continuous” process in the sense that each of the intermediate grammars falls within the limits imposed by UG. This is not to say that grammars do not restructure during the course of development, nor that they are fully specified at each intermediate stage. On a continuous model, however, the restructuring which one expects is within narrowly defined limits.


Grammatical Development Null Subject Discontinuous Model Linguistic Development Predicate Nominative 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nina M. Hyams
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of LinguisticsUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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