What Counts as Evidence in Linguistics: The case of innateness (Benjamins Current Topics 7)

What Counts as Evidence in Linguistics: The case of innateness (Benjamins Current Topics 7)

By: Anette Rosenbach (editor), Martina Penke (editor)Hardback

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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.


1. Preface; 2. What counts as evidence in linguistics?: An introduction (by Penke, Martina); 3. Typological evidence and Universal Grammar (by Newmeyer, Frederick J.); 4. Remarks on the relation between language typology and Universal Grammar: Commentary on Newmeyer (by Baltin, Mark); 5. Does linguistic explanation presuppose linguistic description? (by Haspelmath, Martin); 6. Remarks on description and explanation in grammar: Commentary on Haspelmath (by Aissen, Judith); 7. Author's response (by Haspelmath, Martin); 8. From UG to Universals: Linguistic adaptation through iterated learning (by Kirby, Simon); 9. Form, meaning and speakers in the evolution of language: Commentary on Kirby, Smith and Brighton (by Croft, William A.); 10. Author's response (by Kirby, Simon); 11. Why assume UG? (by Wunderlich, Dieter); 12. What kind of evidence could refute the UG hypothesis?: Commentary on Wunderlich (by Tomasello, Michael); 13. Author's response: Is there any evidence that refutes the UG hypothesis? (by Wunderlich, Dieter); 14. A question of relevance: Some remarks on standard languages (by Weiss, Helmut); 15. The Relevance of Variation: Remarks on Weiss's Standard-Dialect-Problem (by Simon, Horst J.); 16. Author's response (by Weiss, Helmut); 17. Universals, innateness and explanation in second language acquisition (by Eckman, Fred); 18. 'Internal' versus 'external' universals: Commentary on Eckman (by White, Lydia); 19. Author's response: 'External' universals and explanation in SLA (by Eckman, Fred); 20. What counts as evidence in historical linguistics? (by Fischer, Olga); 21. Abstraction and performance: Commentary on Fischer (by Lightfoot, David W.); 22. Author's response (by Fischer, Olga); 23. Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9789027222374
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 297
  • ID: 9789027222374
  • weight: 705
  • ISBN10: 9027222371

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