Lise Menn, Linguistics, CU Boulder lmenn at CLIPR.COLORADO.EDU
Fri Apr 25 19:57:46 UTC 1997

surely, uniqueness and innateness are logically independent concepts.
That they were ever bundled together is an example of how fallacious
arguments get started and transmitted because of pre-theoretical
convictions, or maybe I should say pre-emprical...Lise Menn

On Fri, 25 Apr 1997 DPAT at CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU wrote:

> Hello all, I usually just follow these discussions silently...but I have
> to comment on this one.  I have often gotten the impression that when
> linguists talk about a linguistic ability as "innate", that they are also
> implying that the ability is unique to humans.  I certainly think there
> is a lot that humans do that is unique.  However, I don't think
> the uniqueness follows from the innateness.  I have seen evidence
> that other species (not just mammals) have sound systems that
> might be best explained by appealing to phonetic and phonological
> devices that hitherto have been treated as if they were unique to
> humans.  I'd love to get some feedback on how others view this
> uniqueness/innateness relationship.
> Thanks
> Dianne Patterson
> dpat at

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