We’ve scheduled a debate today in my intro to linguistics section. The topic is something like “Human beings have an innate, language-specific capacity.” My co-TA, a syntactician, is arguing the “pro” side, and I’m “con.”
Here are the sources I’m looking at so far:
- The recent Chronicle of Higher Education piece on Dan Everett and Pirahã
- Melody Dye’s take on Miller & Chomsky 1963
- Scholz & Pullum 2005 [PDF], in which they try to clarify exactly what “innate” means
- Textbook descriptions of connectionist and constructivist hypotheses
That should be enough for a 10-minute presentation to an undergrad class, but now that I’ve started reading, my interest is piqued. What sources would you recommend?