From Regular to Context Free to Mildly Context Sensitive Tree Rewriting Systems: The Path of Child Language Acquisition
9411012 | cmp-lg
Current syntactic theory limits the range of grammatical variation so severely that the logical problem of grammar learning is trivial. Yet, children exhibit characteristic stages in syntactic development at least through their sixth year. Rather than positing maturational delays, I suggest that acquisition difficulties are the result of limitations in manipulating grammatical representations. I argue that the genesis of complex sentences reflects increasing generative capacity in the systems generating structural descriptions: conjoined clauses demand only a regular tree rewriting system; sentential embedding uses a context-free tree substitution grammar; modification requires TAG, a mildly context-sensitive system.