Workshop: Language input and language construction
- Mark Aronoff
No matter what one’s theoretical perspective, the language that a person constructs must be based on the language or languages that the person sees or hears. This workshop will be devoted to the question of how different sorts of inputs affect the structure of a language. In the most extreme case—homesign—there is no input at all, but the child still constructs a linguistics system, albeit a very simple one. In the case of new sign languages, the children have only each other’s emerging language as input. Those who create early creole languages are working with a different sort of input, as are those growing up in other types of intimate contact between languages and linguistic communities.