The syntactic structure of a sentence is determined by its functional or closed-class items. In this line of work, we are studying how children analyze closed-class items, asking (i) whether learners’ computations reflect the special role of these items in sentence structure and (ii) how these analyses shape learners’ grammatical representations.

(Getz & Newport, 2018 GALANA talk, 2018 BUCLD poster, and in prep)

Language acquisition researchers have long worried about how children can acquire language despite the Poverty of the Stimulus. In this paper, I argue that whether the input is impoverished depends on a specific view of the learning problem. There may not be enough input for a specific learning approach to work, but one always has to consider the possibility that there exists another approach for which input actually is adequate.

(Getz, 2018, Language Acquisition)

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