Parameter Setting

  • Thomas Roeper
  • Edwin Williams

Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 4)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. David Lebeaux
    Pages 23-39
  3. Kenneth Wexler, M. Rita Manzini
    Pages 41-76
  4. Ken Safir
    Pages 77-89
  5. Taisuke Nishigauchi, Thomas Roeper
    Pages 91-121
  6. Hagit Borer, Kenneth Wexler
    Pages 123-172
  7. Amy Weinberg
    Pages 173-187
  8. Daniel L. Finer
    Pages 211-219
  9. Lydia White
    Pages 239-246
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 247-253

About this book


In May 1985 the University of Massachusetts held the first conference on the parameter setting model of grammar and acquisition. The conference was conceived in the belief that there is a new possibility of tightly connecting grammatical studies and language acquisition studies, and that this new possibility has grown out of the new generation of ideas about the relation of Universal Grammar to the grammar of particular languages. The papers in this volume are all concerned in one way or another with the 'parametric' model of grammar, and with its role in explaining the acquisition of language. Before summarizing the accompanying papers, I would like to sketch the intellectual background of these new ideas. It has long been the acknowledged goal of grammatical theorists to explicate the relation between the experience of the child and the knowledge of the adult. Somehow, the child selects a unique grammar (by assumption) compatible with a random partially unreliable sample of some language. In the earliest work in generative grammar, starting with Chomsky's Aspects, and extending to such works as Jackendoffs Lexicalist Syntax (1977), the model of this account was the formal evaluation metric, accompanied by a general rule writing system. The model of acquisition was the following: the child composed a grammar by writing rules in the rule writing system, under the constraint that the rules must be compatible with the data, and that the grammar must be the one most highly valued by the evaluation metric.


SLA Second language acquisition language acquisition second language

Editors and affiliations

  • Thomas Roeper
    • 1
  • Edwin Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of LinguisticsUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1987
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-277-2316-1
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-3727-7
  • Series Print ISSN 1873-0043
  • Buy this book on publisher's site