The acquisition of linking theories: A Tolerance Principle approach to learning UTAH and rUTAH
Lisa Pearl, Jon Sprouse
June 2018
 

We present an argument from acquisition for linking theories, and explore to what extent two prominent linking theories in the syntactic literature – UTAH and rUTAH – can be learned from the data English children encounter. We leverage a conceptual acquisition framework involving explicit hypothesis generation and evaluation, the Tolerance Principle as a cognitively-motivated mechanism for hypothesis evaluation, and realistic English child-directed input. We find that UTAH – unlike rUTAH – is neither easily generated as an explicit hypothesis nor learnable from child-directed speech in its traditional form. We discuss the implications of these results for both syntactic and acquisition theories.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004088
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: under review
keywords: linking problem, utah, rutah, argument from acquisition, tolerance principle, syntax
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