Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Innateness, abstract names, and syntactic cues in How Children Learn the Meanings of Words

Heidi Harley a1 and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini a2
a1 Department of Linguistics, Douglass 200E, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0028
a2 Cognitive Science Program, Communication 305, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721


Bloom masterfully captures the state-of-the-art in the study of lexical acquisition. He also exposes the extent of our ignorance about the learning of names for non-observables. HCLMW adopts an innatist position without adopting modularity of mind; however, it seems likely that modularity is needed to bridge the gap between object names and the rest of the lexicon.