Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Universal Grammar? Or prerequisites for natural language?

Adele E. Goldberga1

a1 Department of Linguistics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540. adele@princeton.edu http://www.princeton.edu/~adele

Abstract

This commentary aims to highlight what exactly is controversial about the traditional Universal Grammar (UG) hypothesis and what is not. There is widespread agreement that we are not born “blank slates,” that language universals exist, that grammar exists, and that adults have domain-specific representations of language. The point of contention is whether we should assume that there exist unlearned syntactic universals that are arbitrary and specific to Language.

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