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12 - Nothing in Syntax Makes Sense Except in the Light of Change

from Part II - Interfaces

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 October 2018

Ángel J. Gallego
Affiliation:
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Roger Martin
Affiliation:
Yokohama National University, Japan
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Summary

Just as in biology nothing makes sense unless one can provide a plausible account of how it might have evolved (Theodosius Dobzhansky 1973), so in syntax no feature of I-languages makes sense unless one can show how it might have been first acquired by children exposed to new primary linguistic data.  Diachronic syntacticians have been able to show how particular elements of new I-languages might have been triggered by new PLD and therefore have been able enrich models of acquisition beyond the ambitions of synchronic syntacticians.  So English has elements not occurring in other European languages and we can show how those elements were acquired in response to new E-language PLD and how there were domino effects.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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