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Cognitive Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Newman, John

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Paradox escaped?

*The author may be contacted at Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Wundtlaan 1, 6525 XD Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Citation Information: Cognitive Linguistics. Volume 12, Issue 1, Pages 89–96, ISSN (Online) 1613-3641, ISSN (Print) 0936-5907, DOI: 10.1515/cogl.12.1.89, March 2008

Publication History

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In two recent issues of this journal, the question of innateness was the topic of an interesting discussion between Hilferty, Valenzuela, and Vilarroya (1998), and Jackendoff (1999). Basically, these two squibs defend opposing viewpoints with respect to what Jackendoff (1996, 1997) had termed the “paradox of language acquisition”: how can it be that the linguistic community, despite many decades (or centuries) of efforts, has so far failed to produce a single adequate description of a speaker's knowledge of his/her native language, yet every normal child manages to acquire precisely this knowledge during childhood?

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