Paul T Barthmaier 6500ptb0 at UCSBUXA.UCSB.EDU
Thu Apr 24 14:39:37 UTC 1997

On Thu, 24 Apr 1997, Chris Cleirigh wrote:

> I don't use the word...I read biology.

So, in biology the term innate doesn't exist?

> I want to hear it explained by someone who does use in linguistics.

Because _innate_ is a hot word that can easily be misinterpreted, I don't
use the word either.  However, my understanding is that there are 2 types
of innateness, one that just about everyone agrees on, and one that splits
the field in two.  The first one says that the ability for humans to
produce speech sounds is an innate faculty.  The second more divisive
reading of innate says that not just the ability to produce the sounds,
but the organizing principles, or the grammars, are also hardwired into
the human.
        Personally, I can accept the first interpretation, but see no
reason to accept the second.  For this reason, I tend not to use the term
at all.


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