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date: 23 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Linguistic Minimalism refers to a family of approaches exploring a conjecture, first formulated by Noam Chomsky in the early 1990s, concerning the nature of the human language faculty. This contribution, I state as clearly as possible what the conjecture amounts to, what sort of research program emerges from it, and how it could be carried out (using examples from the existing literature as concrete illustrations). Its roots are traced, and its philosophical commitments discussed. Finally, the connection between the emergence of linguistic minimalism and the renewed interests in central themes in the study of biological foundations of language (biolinguistics) are emphasized.

Keywords: biolinguistics, Darwin’s problem, Galilean style, Minimalism, parameter, Plato’s problem, Principles-and-Parameters, rationalism

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