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By Jacques Mehler & Susana Franck (Editors)

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Zdicate argur:ient structure, and these associations constitute the grammatical relations of the sentence. Figure 3 shows the functional structures for the examples of Figures 1 and 2. Note the very direct relation between the surface forms of these examples and their respective functional structures. Figure 3. Functional structure of Functionalstructure of Fred handed a toy to the baby Red handed the baby a toy 1 SUBJ SUBJ rENSE Past TENSE Past PRED ‘hand((SUBJ), (OBJ), (CJB&,&) PRED ‘hand((SWBJ), (OBJ2), (OBJ))’ GBJ 1 SPEC ‘a’ PRED ‘toy’ c oB&ML _ [ OBJ 1 SPEC ‘the’ PRED ‘baby’ PRED ‘Fred’ ~::tiyj 0852 kfWy, ] An approachto Universal Grammar 47 The directness of this relation reflects a fundamental property of the lexicalfunctional theory of grammatical representation: only lexical rules can alter grammatical relations; al!

My view is that in any individual situation, a composition of basic idsals is created. in the field of perception, the composition serves as a model of the situation. The model is built from a set of more fundamental hatterns, each 0~1ecapturing some important regularity of our world. Because the model of th:) specific situation is built from a vocabulary that captures fundamental reguiarities, such as surface, slant, object, above, person, goal, :ind so on, the model serves as a powerful calculating system.

For example, invatiant acoustic properties have been postulated for the following features: contin:;&tf (characterizing the class of fric$ives in contrast to other classes of segments): strident (distinguishing [sH&j 1 from other consonants in English), nasal, voicing, and others (Stevens and Blumstein, 198 1). There is also evidence for invariant acoustic properties that define tongue position for vowels (Stevens, 1980). For many of these properties there is perceptual evidence to indicate that the speech perceptior system gives a distinctive response when the ap propriate property is present in the sound (for discussion, see Miller, Wier, Pastore, Kelly and Dool’ing,1976; Pisoni, 1977 ; Stevens and Blumstein, 198 1).

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