UG Principles and input:
How do we get Plato's Heaven into Skinner's Box?

August 1-2, 2003 at the LSA Linguistic Institute

Invited Speakers

Janet Fodor
CUNY Graduate Center

Anthony Kroch
University of Pennsylvania

Charles Yang
Yale University

The fundamental question of this workshop is: how does a child less than 3 years old capture the major abstract principles of his grammar? There have been two distinct answers to this question. The first answer is that the child does not capture the abstract principles, since they are 'inborn' and the child somehow knows how to apply them. If this is so, it remains unclear how the actual input phrases (often said to be a 'impoverished') eventually provoke the exact selection of abstract characteristics that are appropriate for the language that is being learned. The second answer is that the child is not guided by abstract principles. Children's earliest utterances are instantiations of item based schemas or constructions. If so, it remains unclear how and when the child starts to deal with new sentences that obey the principles he was claimed to ignore.


Cristina Schmitt (Michigan State University)
Jacqueline van Kampen (UiL Utrecht University)
Alan Munn (Michigan State University)

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All talks will be in 226 Erikson Hall, which is located across from Wells Hall where most LSA Institute classes are held.

Registration will be taken on-site.

Registration Fees

LSA Institute Participants

Students: $15.00
Non-students: $20.00

Non-LSA Institute Participants

Students: $25.00
Non-students: $30.00

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