Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Nativism, neuroconstructivism, and developmental disorder

Philip Gerrans a1
a1 Department of Philosophy, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia


Either genetically specified modular cognitive architecture for syntactic processing does not exist (neuroconstructivism), or there is a module but its development is so abnormal in Williams syndrome (WS) that no conclusion can be drawn about its normal architecture (moderate nativism). Radical nativism, which holds that WS is a case of intact syntax, is untenable. Specific Language Impairment and WS create a dilemma that radical nativism cannot accommodate.