Language Review Questions 8
a. Navajo Code Talker Paradox –
b. Universal Grammar –
c. Parameter –
d. Parameter values –
e. Greenberg’s generalizations –
f. Overhypothesis –
g. Variational learning –
h. Unambiguous data –
2. A movement rule in syntax means that the order of the syntax can be changed. An
example of this would be in the typical subject, verb, object order of grammatical
categories in English that can be moved in other languages. German for example, has a
different pattern, which is subject, object verb. Movement rules allow for the verb to be
moved from the end of an utterance to the beginning and still keep the same meaning.
The movement rule also allows for the subject to be moved to the beginning of the
sentence as well as the object to the end.
3. The child cannot be certain about how the word order of SVO was produced because
other languages use different ways to generate that same pattern. For example, German
uses SOV, but the verb in main clauses moves to the second position and some other
phrase moves to the first position. Therefore they are also using the SVO word order, but
they generated it in a different way.
4. Artificial intelligence researchers studied the relative difficulty of playing chess
compared to the relative difficulty of translating language and found that computer’s poor
performance on language is not about insufficient computational power, since there is
enough computational power to solve the chess-playing problem.
5. Language learning under Chompsky’s Universal Grammar relies on combinations of
different basic elements or parameters that will yield the observable languages. A
relatively small number of syntax parameters yields a large number of different
languages’ syntactic systems. Children do not require knowledge, they are born knowing
the parameters of variation. Input from the native linguistic environment determines
what values these parameters should have.
6. If there are three language structure parameters with two values each there will be 8
languages represented. If there are two language structures parameters and three values
in each there will be 27 languages represented.
7. According to Greenberg, languages that have SVO basic word order are more similar
than they first appear on the surface, especially if we consider their structural properties.
The preposition comes before the noun phrase and the possessed comes before the
possessor. Languages that have SOV basic word order are also very similar when viewed
through structural descriptions. The possessor is always before the possessed and the
noun phrase always proceeds th