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Input, innateness and the development of inflection

Dr. Jennifer Austin

Thursday, December 06, 2007, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

Rutgers University, Newark, Department of Classical & Modern Language and Literatures

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A number of recent generativist studies on the development of syntax
in young children consider input frequency to be an important factor
which influences the course of acquisition of certain elements of
grammar (Roeper 1999, Yang 2002, Kupisch 2007). This is a departure
from the assumption shared by many generativists that statistical
learning plays little or no role in the acquisition of syntax. In this
talk I discuss the acquisition of verbal morphology in monolingual and
bilingual children acquiring Basque and Spanish, and I claim that a
model of inflectional development that combines associative learning
with innate constraints can best explain these data.

Dr. Jennifer Austin