Pearl (2019) – Poverty of the Stimulus Without Tears

Poverty of the Stimulus Without Tears
Lisa Pearl
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June 2019
Poverty of the Stimulus (PovStim) has been at the heart of ferocious and tear-filled debates at the nexus of psychology, linguistics, and philosophy for decades. This review is intended as a guide for readers without a formal linguistics or philosophy background, focusing on what PovStim is and how it’s been interpreted, which is traditionally where the tears have come in. I discuss PovStim from the perspective of language development, highlighting how PovStim relates to expectations about learning and the data available to learn from. I describe common interpretations of what PovStim means when it occurs, and approaches for determining when PovStim is in fact occurring. I close with illustrative examples of PovStim in the domains of syntax, lexical semantics, and phonology.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004646
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keywords: poverty of the stimulus, constrained generalization, quantitative approaches, nativists, linguistic nativists, non-linguistic nativists, empiricists, semantics, syntax, phonology
Posted in Research (e.g. papers, books)