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Auteur: Stephen CRAIN

Cut-and-paste meets linguistic theory

Abstract/Résumé: There are two phenomena in child language that resist explanation on a usage-based approach, but which are the bread-and-butter of the theory of Universal Grammar. First, children acquire linguistic generalisations, both within and across languages, and often these generalisations provide a unified account of phenomena which, on the surface, appear to be unrelated. Second, children sometime posit structures that are not attested in the local language, but ones that are compatible with the theory of Universal Grammar (i.e., they are attested in other human languages). This talk will discuss these phenomena, and why they pose a challenge to the usage-based approach.