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 [email protected]


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.