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date: 24 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Universal Grammar (UG) denotes the species-specific faculty of language, presumed to be invariant across individuals. Over the years, it has shrunk from a full-blown set of principles and parameters to a much smaller set of properties, possibly as small as just containing the linguistic structure-building operation Merge, which in turn derives the uniquely human language property of recursion (Hauser et al., 2002). UG qua human faculty of language is further assumed to constitute the ‘optimal solution to minimal design specifications’ (Chomsky 2001:1), a perfect system for language. Unfortunately, the human system or physiology does not always run perfectly smooth in an optimal fashion. There are malfunctions, misformations, and other aberrations throughout. The language system is no exception. This chapter will present language pathology from the perspective of the underlying system: What can non-intact language tell us about UG?

Keywords: aphasia, biolinguistics, cognition, language disorders, language impairments, faculty of language, interpretability, multilingualism, savantism, specific language impairment

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