Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Little Red Riding Hood and the Chomskyan Wolf: A debate on Poverty of the Stimulus Arguments

Sara Feijóo


The present article discusses the empirical validity of the so-called poverty of the stimulus argument within nativist accounts of first language acquisition. Arguments against nativism in early linguistic development are given, which draw from the premises that: a) the linguistic stimulus that infants are exposed to is not as impoverished as linguists had initially stated, and b) infants’ learning capacities have been grossly underestimated, since they do possess abilities that allow them to extract the relevant features they need from the input and, thus, acquire grammatical knowledge.

Text complet: PDF