Bilingual Selection of Syntactic Knowledge: Extending the Principles and Parameters Approach
Springer Science & Business Media, Oct 31, 1999 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 167 pages
Bilingual Selection of Syntactic Knowledge motivates a more formal approach in theoretical linguistics by investigating the parameters of syntactic variation and simultaneous acquisition of multiple languages. Taking the behavior of the Null Subject Parameter (NSP) across languages as an illustration, the book raises important questions concerning the adequacy of standard parameter-setting models in the face of compelling evidence from both mono- and bilingual child speech data.
Teresa Satterfield argues convincingly that so-called `universal' premises guiding well-known parametric approaches greatly complicate attempts to construct an economical bilingual analysis. Further, she demonstrates the compatibility of more recent formulations in linguistic theory (i.e. the Minimalist Program) and studies on language learnability (Clark, 1992, 1993; Kapur, 1994) which present the view that while initially convincing, standard parameter models are potentially costly and less than effective in terms of monolinguals as well.
Using Clark's application of the Genetic Algorithm as a point of departure, Bilingual Selection of Syntactic Knowledge describes a number of computational simulations. These simulations not only demonstrate the robustness of the GA-as-language-learner, they offer a more detailed account of the parameter-setting task confronting the bilingual child while also making more precise predictions regarding the process of syntactic knowledge.
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acquisition allows analysis appear application approach argument assumed assumption bilingual Chapter checked child Chinese Chomsky Clark clause complex computational considered consistent convergence derivation determine discussion effect elements empty English environment evidence example fact fitness formal function further genetic algorithm given grammar Hyams hypothesis identification implemented individuals initial input input data instance interpretation language learning learnability learner learning model lexical licensing linguistic match measure mechanism monolingual natural niche null subjects object operation optimal option overt parameter setting parameter values parameter-setting particular performance population position possible predicted present principles problem produce properties proposed random reason relation relative relevant representation represented respect result s/he Saleemi selection sentence simple solution space Spanish specific strategy strings structure Subset syntactic task theory variations