What Counts as Evidence in Linguistics: The case of innateness

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Martina Penke, Anette Rosenbach
John Benjamins Publishing, 06.06.2007 - 297 Seiten
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What counts as evidence in linguistics? This question is addressed by the contributions to the present volume (originally published as a Special Issue of Studies in Language 28:3 (2004). Focusing on the innateness debate, what is illustrated is how formal and functional approaches to linguistics have different perspectives on linguistic evidence. While special emphasis is paid to the status of typological evidence and universals for the construction of Universal Grammar (UG), this volume also highlights more general issues such as the roles of (non)-standard language and historical evidence. To address the overall topic, the following three guiding questions are raised: What type of evidence can be used for innateness claims (or UG)?; What is the content of such innate features (or UG)?; and, How can UG be used as a theory guiding empirical research? A combination of articles and peer commentaries yields a lively discussion between leading representatives of formal and functional approaches.

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Inhalt

What counts as evidence in linguistics? An introduction
1
Typological evidence and Universal Grammar
51
Remarks on the relation between language typology and Universal Grammar Commentary on Newmeyer
75
Does linguistic explanation presuppose linguistic description?
81
Remarks on description and explanation in grammar Commentary on Haspelmath
109
Authors response
113
From UG to Universals Linguistic adaptation through iterated learning
117
Form meaning and speakers in the evolution of language Commentary on Kirby Smith and Brighton
139
A question of relevance Some remarks on standard languages
181
The Relevance of Variation Remarks on Weißs StandardDialectProblem
209
Authors response
215
Universals innateness and explanation in second language acquisition
217
Internal versus external universals Commentary on Eckman
241
Authors response External universals and explanation in SLA
245
What counts as evidence in historical linguistics?
249
Abstraction and performance Commentary on Fischer
283

Authors response
143
Why assume UG?
147
What kind of evidence could refute the UG hypothesis? Commentary onWunderlich
175
Authors response Is there any evidence that refutes the UG hypothesis?
179
Authors response
287
Subject index
291
The series Benjamins Current Topics BCT
298
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