This book provides an analysis of two theories of language
acquisition: the theory that acquisition is primarily mediated by
innate properties of language provided by universal grammar, and
the opposing theory that language is acquired based on the patterns
in the ambient language. A problem not often considered is that
these two theories are confounded because the structures that are
frequent across languages are also typically the most frequent
within a specific language. In addition, the innate theory of
language acquisition is difficult to quantify and qualify. Using
cross-linguistic, corpus and experimental approaches, this book
attempts to contrast these theories through an examination of the
acquisition of word-final consonants in English.
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