Poverty Of The Stimulus Argument Essay

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The poverty-of-the-stimulus argument as described by Tomasello (1995) follow that they “always have to do with some grammatical mistakes that children might ‘logically’ make on the basis of ‘simple induction’ and the like, but do not,” further allowing him to come to the conclusion that children must have an innate knowledge of language and its structure. The poverty of stimulus argument primarily takes a nativist approach to linguistic theory, as it implies that children have some innate biological way of not making high probability and logical mistakes. Crain (2012) also illustrates this point by stating the poverty-of-the-stimulus argument proves “that children know more than they could have learned from their experience.” Crain appears to provide detailed evidence for the poverty-of-stimulus argument, whereas Tomasello explains a viewpoint that while the poverty-of-stimulus theory is legitimate, there are still other possibilities and proves this through his examples. Crain, in their descriptions of poverty-of-the-stimulus, uses concepts such as constraints rather than the older grammatical theories of rules, the concepts of similar base functions for disparate linguistic phenomena in different languages, and negative evidence as also briefly described by Tomasello (1995). One major theme of the poverty-of-the stimulus argument is its emphasis and close allegiance to the Generative Grammar theory rather …show more content…
Infact, Crain (2012) illustrates that children are not exposed to enough negative evidence nor does it appear at the right time developmentally for it to promote learning, infact he goes on to state that negative evidence ”is not available in the primary linguistic data” (Crain

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