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The Philosophy of Universal Grammar$
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Wolfram Hinzen and Michelle Sheehan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199654833

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654833.001.0001

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Cross-linguistic variation

Cross-linguistic variation

Chapter:
(p.175) 5 Cross-linguistic variation
Source:
The Philosophy of Universal Grammar
Author(s):

Wolfram Hinzen

Michelle Sheehan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654833.003.0005

One Cartesian reason for taking thought to be independent of language—or to have its own ‘Language of thought’—is that language is subject to massive cross-linguistic variation, while thought is not. So Chapter 5 addresses the issue of cross-linguistic variation: its dimensions, and its extent. Does it provide a challenge for our account of universal grammar? Not inasmuch as the primary dimension of variation is the organization of language at a lexical and morphological level; not, if what have traditionally been thought of as syntactic parameters actually reduce to variation in modes of externalization.

Keywords:   Linguistic variation, principles and parameters, word order, null subjects, Case

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