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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

(p.175) 5 Cross-linguistic variation
The Philosophy of Universal Grammar

Wolfram Hinzen

Michelle Sheehan

Oxford University Press

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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