Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 14 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

The Principles-and-Parameters Theory marked an important milestone in formal linguistic theoryby offering a plausible solution to the logical problem of language acquisition, leading to a productive field of inquiry that uncovered important universal properties and macro-patterns of parametric variation among an unprecedented number of languages. Recent advances in parametric theory have capitalized on microparametric variation, raising certain questions about the status of macro-parameters. In this chapter, developing recent work and using the facts of Chinese as a paradigm case, we show that (a) both macro- and microparameters are needed in linguistic theory, (b) macroparameters are simply aggregates of microparameters acting in concert with a conservative learning strategy, and (c) the (micro)parameters themselves are hierarchically organized. Assuming a ‘three factors’ model, we take parameters to be emergent properties that result from the interaction of a radically unspecified UG, experience, and third-factor principles like Feature Economy and Input Generalization.

Keywords: parametric theory, macroparameters, microparameters, feature economy, input generalization, Modern and Old Chinese

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.