Parameters and Learnability in Binding Theory

  • Kenneth Wexler
  • M. Rita Manzini
Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 4)


Modern theory has provided evidence that universal grammar contains principles of a general, but specifically linguistic, form that apply in all natural languages. A goal of this paper is to extend the notion of principle theory to language acquisition. In such a theory each choice that the child makes in his or her growing language is determined by a principle of language or by a principle of learning or by the interaction of these two kinds of principles. The language principles and the learning principles are obviously related (they interact). However, it seems to be a promising approach to see if the two kinds of principles can be separated to some degree. That is, we attempt a modular approach to language acquisition theory. Some aspects of language and its acquisition seem better stated not in linguistic theory, but outside it, in, say, a learning module.


Noun Phrase Language Acquisition Lexical Item Linguistic Theory Embed Clause 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth Wexler
  • M. Rita Manzini

There are no affiliations available

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