Chapter

The Logical Problem of Language Acquisition

Fiona Cowie

in What's Within?

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780195159783
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849529 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159783.003.0009

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series

The Logical Problem of Language Acquisition

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The author is able to point out the weak points of the a posteriori argument from the poverty of the stimulus (APS) through drawing attention to how such is not able to supply empirical support for their claims regarding types of available linguistic evidence and how the credibility of the APS is undermined by how nativists rely on unsupported intuitions about children's knowledge. Also, the author gives focus to how the APS provided an evaluation regarding the possible empiricist explanation of how children may learn language from available data. The APS was not able to fully make use of the resources which are available to the empiricist learner, and also attributed too much value to the difficulties that an empiricist learner may encounter in learning about rules of syntax. This chapter thus takes on the argument of the “Logical Problem of Language Acquisition.”

Keywords: a posteriori; APS; children; nativist; knowledge; language; empiricist learner; language acquisition

Chapter.  16666 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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