Uniformity and diversity: A minimalist perspective

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This essay discusses language uniformity and diversity in the light of recent development of the minimalist program (Hauser et al. 2002, Chomsky 2008, Berwick and Chomsky 2011, and much related work). It pursues two leading ideas. First, Universal Grammar (UG) is maximally minimal: hence early internal language (I-language) is largely uniform across individuals, language variation being mainly or entirely confined to externalization. Second, the mapping from I-language to external language (E-language) is non-isomorphic (the Non-isomorphy Generalization), morphological processes such as agreement and case marking being E-language phenomena, taking place in the externalization component. The first line of reasoning converges with many of Chomsky’s recent ideas, the second one is more divergent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-222
JournalLinguistic Variation Yearbook
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Swedish (015011001)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Languages and Literature


  • E-language
  • Externalization
  • I-language
  • Person
  • Tense
  • Non-isomorphy Generalization


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