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The rules of language

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1 Author(s)
Morris Halle ; Modern Languages and Linguistics at M.I.T., Cambridge, MA 02139

We all share some basic information about our native language but we are not conscious of ever having learned or worked out the principles involved. For example, we “know” upon hearing them that certain sound sequences could not be words in our language although we have never been taught the principles that govern English word structure. In addition, we possess information about language which could not plausibly be attributed to learning. This unlearned knowledge as well as the knowledge acquired without overt teaching is attributed to innate mechanisms-the consequence of the genetic endowment that differentiates between humans and other species.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  (Volume:PC-23 ,  Issue: 4 )