Parametric theory of word order, language acquisition and historical c...

Oct 21, 2011 by

In the previous posting, I outlined an alternative theory that treats the order of major sentential constituents — subject, object and verb — not as a primitive, but as a result of several binary factors (called...

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Um… and uh… clues

Apr 15, 2011 by

Linguists have often wondered how children manage to learn their native language from exposure to adult speech that contains so much noise: hesitations, restarts, mumbling and other types of disfluency. But recent research published...

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Learning is unlearning

Apr 13, 2011 by

In yesterday’s posting I described some recent research that suggests that when it comes to language, babies are not born as a tabula rasa. Rather, all humans are born pre-wired (or pre-programmed) to learn a human language....

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Mom’s voice activates a newborn’s brain

Apr 12, 2011 by

Following the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, philosophers and educationalists for a long time thought that babies are born as a tabula rasa, knowing nothing and open to all possibilities. And when it comes to language, it is clear...

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On feet and meter

Apr 8, 2011 by

No, this is not a post about units of measuring distance! In linguistic terminology, a “foot” refers to syllabic (or prosodic, or metric) unit. Metric feet combine to create a “meter”, a sequence of stressed...

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