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8 votes
Accepted

Do all languages have the same set of grammatical relations?

I assume, based on the your posts elsewhere, that by 'sentence parts', you are referring to grammatical relations (GRs) like subject, object, etc. In the future, it would be clearer for you to call ...
WavesWashSands's user avatar
8 votes

Does majority of linguists accept universal grammar?

While this is an oldish question with some existing good answers, I think there's something fundamental missing from all of them: "Universal grammar" is both ambiguous and vague, and people who "don't ...
abarnert's user avatar
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8 votes
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Is there a universal (general) definition of gerund, infinitive and participle?

Not really. "Participle" can be defined pretty reliably as "an inflected form of a verb that acts as an adjective". But the line between a participle and any other adjective ...
Draconis's user avatar
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7 votes

How did Chomsky conceive orthography and spelling?

The first relevant work that I know of are comments for Project Literacy Meeting, Chicago, August 6, 1964, which was later published in Readings in applied transformational grammar, ed. by M. Lester (...
user6726's user avatar
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6 votes

What are the practical implications of Ludwig Wittgenstein's theories in the field of linguistics?

I would highlight Wittgenstein's idea of family resemblances, which served as a basis for a very productive field in semantics (specificaly prototype theory). This basically postulates that words and ...
Eleshar's user avatar
  • 2,363
6 votes

Human natural language metalanguage

In 1984, I created an Expert System, named XTRAN (TM), whose domain of expertise is computer languages, data, and text. XTRAN parses language content to XTRAN Internal Representation, known as XIR (...
Stephen F. Heffner's user avatar
5 votes

How does Greenberg’s approach to language universals differ from Chomsky’s?

Greenberg's approach is completely different from Chomsky's. The two differ in what objects are being investigated: data-patterns analyzed in terms of a set of "language types" (G) versus ...
user6726's user avatar
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5 votes

What's the deal with universal grammar?

Since your question is phrased so broadly and there are tons of research on Universal Grammar (UG), I have to write a likewise broad answer, which is nevertheless technically correct: Universal ...
Alex B.'s user avatar
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5 votes

Is Wikipedia's argument for Universal Grammar completely fallacious?

Beginning with your very last parenthesized question, does "this" refer to the argument you quote from Wikipedia or the argument you yourself make that begins with "however"? And why does that ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

What would be the obstacles to creating a language composed of all the words of all the human languages existing today?

Languages are more than just collections of words, and you're going to run into many problems at many levels. Let's pick one really obvious problem: What counts as a word? The single Yupik word "...
abarnert's user avatar
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3 votes

Wouldn't the premise of Chomsky's universal grammar theory be trivially true?

Well, the obvious counter-position to Chomsky is something like: Give a species a large enough brain, and it will start to develop language just as an emergent phenomenon of having enough intelligence....
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

What should we do to disagreements on sentence judgments

"Universal Grammar" means "universal to all humans". If the grammars of two individuals differ, the difference is in the grammars of the languages, and not in the human faculty of ...
user6726's user avatar
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3 votes

Do recursively generated tenses exist?

McCawley argues that recursively generated past tenses do exist in English. See discussion beginning about page 221 in Syntactic Phenomena of English. Past is a predicate of a sentence which may ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Universal Grammar or Other Area of Study

There is a theory of language which has the concept of Universal Grammar, but that refers simply to "Whatever is necessarily available to all human languages". It does not include such things as "...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
2 votes

Can framing lang acquisition as nature vs nurture be harmful?

The so-called "nature vs nurture" debate in linguistics is not as dichotomous as it may seem from the first sight. Everybody agrees that humans have innate abilities that enable them to learn ...
michau's user avatar
  • 1,779
2 votes

Languages w/out dependent clauses

It seems Pirahã may qualify (my stress): Since we do not find unambiguous relative clauses in the corpus, we cannot use them to conclude that Pirahã has recursive embedding. As Pirahã isn't a ...
jaam's user avatar
  • 504
2 votes
Accepted

What are the structural similarities that exist common to all languages?

For any specific property you suggest, there's probably a counter-example somewhere. However, the big one that's most often considered universal is recursion. Every known human language (*) has ...
Draconis's user avatar
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2 votes

Do recursively generated tenses exist?

This is not exactly recursive because the recursion stops after one level, but it comes close to recursion: There is a formation termed Doppeltes Perfekt in German. Similar formations are also known ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
2 votes

Interesting, easy-to-replicate linguistic studies

If you know how and can get say 5 speakers each, you could compare F1 and F2 of Japanese and Spanish, to see if the vowels are "the same". This does relate to UG in that it raises the question whether ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
2 votes

Does Piraha syntax lack any recursion or just embedding?

I take the word "appear" literally, that is, it's a question about the evidence. Almost all of the publicly available evidence comes from Everett. You can consult the other works on listed Glottolog (...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
2 votes

Human natural language metalanguage

we would “discover” a new syntactic feature of language that had never occurred to us before. I think this is the core interesting question, which should be approached from a metatheoretical ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
1 vote

Why do we listen and speak in the same language?

When living in a mainly monolingual society, the impression of listening and speaking the same language may feel natural. But in general, humans are listening to and speaking more or less different ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
1 vote

Wouldn't the premise of Chomsky's universal grammar theory be trivially true?

The concept of universal grammar was initially posited by 17th century philosophers, and Chomsky picked up on and technically developed that idea. In Aspects of the theory of syntax, he quotes Beattie ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
1 vote

Human natural language metalanguage

There are constructed languages that are designed to be parsable, the original was Loglan and it spawned some forks, e.g., Lojban and gua\spi (shortly mentioned in the Wikipedia article on Lojban). I ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
1 vote

Principles and Parameters vs. Government and Binding

This is a difficult history and sociology of the field question, fraught with personal opinions and revisionism. GB theory commenced with the (originally samizdat) publication of "The Pisa ...
user6726's user avatar
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1 vote
Accepted

What exactly is Mental Grammar and how is it different from Regular Grammar?

The word "grammar" is used in dozens of ways. One, which linguists either don't like or get seriously upset about is the normative (prescriptive) sense of grammar which tells you that you ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
1 vote

Meaning of "access to Universal Grammar"

The paper doesn't seem to have much discussion of theories that don't assume access to Universal Grammar, because the hypothesis favored by the authors does in fact assume that L2 learners have access ...
brass tacks's user avatar
  • 18.1k
1 vote

Languages w/out dependent clauses

There are many kinds of dependent clause. The example you provided is a content clause and not a relative clause. In Riffian, depending on the dependent clause used, this one can be introduced by a ...
amegnunsen's user avatar
  • 1,525
1 vote

What's the deal with universal grammar?

In my opinion, the answer is "no", that is, you can't be convincingly tangible and say "This is UG". The essential and most widely-accepted idea of UG is that humans have non-learned (genetically-...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
1 vote

Can framing lang acquisition as nature vs nurture be harmful?

Nurture vs nature have crisscrossed with discrimination basically by radicalising discrimination into attempts of extermination when the discriminating party believed that the traits they ...
Luís Henrique's user avatar

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