Brass tacks in linguistic theory

innate grammatical principles

Stephen Crain*, Andrea Gualmini, Paul Pietroski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter presents detailed empirical work on several aspects of children's linguistic performance, focusing in particular on evidence that even two-year-old children understand that the meanings of determiners are 'conservative', that the meaning of natural language disjunction is 'inclusive-or', and that the structural notion of 'ccommand' governs a range of linguistic phenomena. This and other works are used to defend three related versions of the argument from the poverty of the stimulus, each of which strongly supports the existence of an innate language faculty.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe innate mind
Subtitle of host publicationstructure and contents
EditorsPeter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence, Stephen Stich
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780199869794
ISBN (Print)9780195179675, 9780195179996
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Brass tacks in linguistic theory: innate grammatical principles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Crain, S., Gualmini, A., & Pietroski, P. (2005). Brass tacks in linguistic theory: innate grammatical principles. In P. Carruthers, S. Laurence, & S. Stich (Eds.), The innate mind: structure and contents (pp. 175-197). New York: Oxford University Press.