LSA launches inaugural edition of Perspectives
"Perspectives", a new section of Language which provides commentary and responses to featured linguistic articles, is now available to Language subscribers on Project MUSE. The inaugural edition features "Child language acquisition: Why universal grammar doesn’t help", by Ben Ambridge, Julian M. Pine, and Elena V. M. Lieven, with six written responses.
In their target article, Ambridge, Pine, and Lieven examine "whether the individual components of innate UG [(universal grammar)] knowledge proposed in the literature [...] would help the language learner." In "the core domains of (i) identifying syntactic categories, (ii) acquiring basic morphosyntax, (iii) structure dependence, (iv) subjacency, and (v) the binding principles", Ambridge et al. conclude that the posited innate Universal Grammar knowledge does not help simplify the process of language learning.
Responses to this article (published in Perspectives) include a critique of AP&L's discussion of syntactic categories and subjacency, a proposal to build on AP&L's findings using computational modeling, and a call for further criticism of the Chomskyan paradigm and more discussion and consideration of non-Chomskyan work. The inaugural edition of Perspectives also includes a "Short Shot" on "Economic growth and linguistic theory" by Geoffrey Sampson.
This edition of Perspectives will be grouped bibliographically with the September 2014 issue (online-only) of Language. Forthcoming issues of Language will include further commentary and response articles, a summary response to discussion written by Ambridge, Pine and Lieven, and further rounds of discussion with new target articles.
Future Perspectives target articles and Short Shots are currently being solicited by the editors of Language, as are further commentaries on the Sampson article and responses to Ambridge, Pine and Lieven. Submissions for commentary are welcome until September 30. More information on Perspectives and how to contribute is available here.