Theory and predictions for the development of basic morphology and syntax: A Universal Grammar + statistics approach
Lisa Pearl
July 2020

The key aim of this special issue is to make developmental theory proposals concrete enough to evaluate with empirical data. With this in mind, I discuss proposals from the “Universal Grammar + statistics” (UG+stats) perspective for learning several morphology and syntax phenomena. I briefly review why UG has traditionally been part of many developmental theories of language, as well as common statistical learning approaches that are part of UG+stats proposals. I then discuss each morphology or syntax phenomenon in turn, giving an overview of relevant UG+stats proposals for that phenomenon, predictions made by each proposal, and what we currently know about how those predictions hold up. I conclude by briefly discussing where we seem to be when it comes to how well UG+stats proposals help us understand the development of basic morphology and syntax knowledge.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004912
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: For special issue of Journal of Child Language
keywords: universal grammar, statistics, developmental theory, language acquisition, syntactic categories, basic word order, inflection, movement, syntactic islands, binding, passives, raising, control, computational modeling, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v1 [December 2019]
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