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Universal Grammar, crosslinguistic variation and second language acquisition

  • Lydia White (a1)

Extract

According to generative linguistic theory, certain principles underlying language structure are innately given, accounting for how children are able to acquire their mother tongues (L1s) despite a mismatch between the linguistic input and the complex unconscious mental representation of language that children achieve. This innate structure is referred to as Universal Grammar (UG); it includes universal principles, as well as parameters which allow for constrained variation across languages.

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