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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

(p.117) 4 Prior to Function
Mind Design and Minimal Syntax

Wolfram Hinzen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

‘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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