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Academic Paper


Title: A Construction-Based Analysis of the Acquisition of East Asian Relative Clauses
Author: Holger Diessel
Institution: Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Syntax
Abstract: Why are crosslinguistic generalizations like the noun phrase accessibility hierarchy (NPAH) relevant to our understanding of language acquisition? The answer to this question relies on our view of language universals. In generative linguistics, it is commonly assumed that
language universals are based on innate linguistic knowledge. In this approach, languages share some of their basic grammatical properties because the core of human grammar is innate (Crain & Pietroski, 2001). However, this view of linguistic nativism is incompatible with what we know about the neurological foundations of the human mind: Although language has genetic prerequisites, it is biologically implausible that these prerequisites consist of prespecified categories and constraints (Quartz & Sejnowski, 1997).

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This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 29, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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