Many important language universals are not reducible to processing or cognition

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39 (2016)
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Abstract

Christiansen & Chater ignore the many linguistic universals that cannot be reduced to processing or cognitive constraints, some of which we present. Their claim that grammar is merely acquired language processing skill cannot account for such universals. Their claim that all other universal properties are historically and culturally based is a nonsequitur about language evolution, lacking data.

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Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini
University of Arizona
Thomas Bever
University of Arizona

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