Dialect Variation, Optionality, and the Learnability Guarantee

Alison Henry


In acqumng a language the child is often faced with developing a grammar on the basis of input from a range of adults who speak different dialects or idiolects and whose grammars are not therefore identical. The fact that language acquisition is not subject to failure in such circumstances must mean that input from any combination of possible language varieties is guaranteed to trigger the development of a language system. The implications of this for the nature of Universal Grammar and the language acquisition process are explored

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