Questions tagged [universal-grammar]

a theory usually associated with Noam Chomsky which claims the existence of a human-innate universal grammar consisting of features that all natural human languages share, enabling children to acquire a language without being taught explicitly, but only having to set language-specific parameters during exposure to language input

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11
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1answer
2k views

How did Chinese recursion evolve?

The modern Chinese linguistic recursion system is essentially the same as English. If you have a highly embedded sentence, you can translate it word for word, the embedding is very much the same. In ...
23
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8answers
4k views

What are some alternatives to Chomskian generative grammar?

What are the other common approaches to study syntax? Note: the source is an example question from the on-topic question list in Area51.
15
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6answers
5k views

Does Pirahã syntax contradict the principles of Universal Grammar?

The Wikipedia article on Universal Grammar cites the research by Everett (2005) about the Pirahã language: Finally, in the domain of field research, the Pirahã language is claimed to be a ...
16
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1answer
935 views

Is it possible to analyse Māori grammar without contrasting nouns and verbs?

In order to prepare myself for a glorious sports event this weekend, I've bought and read a book about Māori. If my sources are to be believed, Māori is relatively close to other Polynesian languages, ...