Date: Sat, 23 Sep 1995 18:51:58 EDT From: Terry Lynn Irons Subject: Re: One more judgment please These sentences are all prototypical of strings that have been the basis for recent concerns in GB or PP or whatever you call it, which support the various government and binding principles. Reminds me of the Specified Subject Constraint argument that Chomsky used to try to prove Piaget's view of how language is acquired is wrong in the famous debate. My response is, I am not going to be a test subject for your test, unless you tell me what your purpose is. It's the informed consent thing, which my institution's IRB is giving me a lot of crap about, even though I point out to them that US Code regulations exempt this kind of survey/interview from regulation. But that's another battle. Some of them I think are not anything someone would utter. The acquisition question is, what is the source of the language knowledge that leads the language learner to conclude that these sentences are ungrammatical. Certainly, there is no evidence in the environment or stimulus. Thus we have the poverty of stimulus argument. SO we must posit some innate principles. Wrong question. The acquisition problem is not one of why a learner does not do something, but one of what motivates the learner to do what she does. The learner would never produce these utterances because no one uses them. That simple. Has nothing to do with a biological endowment ruling them out. I am not ruling out a biological organ for language, an LAD. I am only questioning what Chomsky thinks is part of it. For all of his insights, he is wrong on this point. Terry PS: I think Dan Slobin agrees. -- (*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*) Terry Lynn Irons t.irons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Voice Mail: (606) 783-5164 Snail Mail: UPO 604 Morehead, KY 40351 (*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)