Can Minimalism help us better understand how children solve language acquisition?
Lisa Pearl
November 2020
 

This vignette focuses on whether Minimalism can help us better understand how children "solve" language acquisition. Minimalism is a significant shift in how we think about language knowledge. For language acquisition, this means that the linguistic representations that children need to learn may be quite different than what we previously thought. Here, I walk through some specific ways that the shift to Minimalist representations could impact our understanding of how children solve language acquisition. I first review some key problems that children need to overcome during language acquisition, relating to children's input and their ability to harness the information in their input. I then discuss why Minimalism might help us better understand how children solve these key problems. I conclude with some thoughts on how the spirit of the Minimalist approach, which is about reducing the linguistic knowledge innately built into children's minds, could also be helpful for understanding language acquisition.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005542
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: The Cambridge Handbook of Minimalism
keywords: minimalism, language acquisition, input noise, input ambiguity, representations, syntax
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