Ellen F. Prince ellen at CENTRAL.CIS.UPENN.EDU
Thu Apr 24 15:34:48 UTC 1997

excuse me, but i thought that all the research on asl of the past few
decades has shown that, whatever the human language faculty is, it is
NOT dependent on anything to do with 'speech sounds'.

>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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