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Mind Design and Minimal Syntax$
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Wolfram Hinzen

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199289257

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289257.001.0001

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Prior to Function

Prior to Function

Chapter:
(p.117) 4 Prior to Function
Source:
Mind Design and Minimal Syntax
Author(s):

Wolfram Hinzen (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289257.003.0004

‘Prior to function’ are structural preconditions that enter into the ordinary use of language, such as its communicative use. This dependence does not allow the explanation of language as a function of its communicative use. Claims of the social-externalist and Wittgenstein notwithstanding, the minimalist and internalist project is consistent with Wittgenstein's aims. The chapter rehearses well-known facts about the acquisition of language that set some boundary conditions for any theory of language.

Keywords:   language growth, communication, Plato's problem, stimulus poverty, stimulus-freedom, animal language, Wittgenstein, public language

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