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Possible and Probable LanguagesA Generative Perspective on Linguistic Typology$
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Frederick J. Newmeyer

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199274338

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199274338.001.0001

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Parameters, Performance, and the Explanation of Typological Generalizations

Parameters, Performance, and the Explanation of Typological Generalizations

(p.73) 3 Parameters, Performance, and the Explanation of Typological Generalizations
Possible and Probable Languages

Frederick J. Newmeyer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter launches a frontal assault not just on the parametric approach to grammar, but also on the very idea that it is the job of Universal Grammar (UG) per se to account for typological generalizations. It contrasts two approaches to typological variation in grammar within the general envelope of formal theory. In one approach, variation is captured largely by means of parameters, either directly tied to principles of UG or to functional projections provided by UG. In the other approach, variation is captured by means of extragrammatical principles. The chapter concludes that the second approach is better supported than the first.

Keywords:   extragrammatical factors, functional projections, parameter, linguistic performance, language processing, typology, Universal Grammar, linguistic variation

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