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 JOHN WOODSWORTH
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"Is there a Device for
Language Acquisition?"
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FOOTNOTE PAGE
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(page updated 5 July 2002)
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PLEASE NOTE:

After reading each footnote click on the immediately following link to return to the same point in the main text of the paper.

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"Is there a Device for
Language Acquisition?"
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FOOTNOTES


1.  See bibliography for details of references. [return]

2.  The 'basic grammatical relations' are defined by McNeill as subject/predicate, main-verb/object and modifier/head-noun. [return]

3.  This order is also supported by Macnamara (197?: 1) in regard to comprehension: "Infants learn their language by first determining, independent of language, the meaning which a speaker intends to convey to them, and by then working out the relationship between the meaning and the language." [return]

4.  Fillmore notes, for example, that "no semantically constant value is associated with the notion of 'subject of'" (ibid.).  [return]

5.  Fillmore in his article makes it abundantly clear that he does not share the traditional view of case as limited to surface-structure affixes (see 1968: 19-21). [return]

6.  In Fillmore's words (1968: 24): "The case notions comprise a set of universal, presumably innate concepts which identify certain types of judgments human beings are capable of making about events that are going on around them". [return]

7.  This sheds some interesting light on the problem of complexity and transformational orderings in competence and performance -- cf., for example, Segalowitz (1970: 3). [return]

8.  Even the word hot, an adjective in adult speech, could quite possibly for the child denote an object such as a stove (cf. Macnamara 197?: 6). [return]

9.  It is interesting to note that in the general discussion following the presentation of McNeill's paper at the conference, one of the participants (Franklin Cooper) "wondered whether the child might be dividing his use of sounds into those that represented things, in a broad context, and those that were somehow necessary but did not relate directly to the child's experience" (Smith & Miller 1966: 100).  Although this hints at our present theory, we have determined that the first-component words do relate directly to the child's experience, but to situations rather than objects.  A closer hint is contained in a subsequent remark by another participant (Richard Chase), who spoke of the child's "differentiation of the organism from the rest of the physical environment" (ibid.). [return]

10.  The parentheses allow for continued one-word utterances which, as we saw earlier, would of necessity consist of 'open'-class (i.e., object-denoting) words. [return]

11.  For one thing, there does appear to be some parallel between the object/situation division and the subject/predicate dichotomy that forms the basis of Chomsky's hierarchy. [return]
 
 
 

© John Woodsworth, 1972.

 

 
 

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...
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"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you... 
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

-- John 14:27
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