Studies of language acqUiSItion have largely ignored processing prin ciples and mechanisms. Not surprisingly, questions concerning the analysis of an informative linguistic input - the potential evidence for grammatical parameter setting - have also been ignored. Especially in linguistic approaches to language acquisition, the role of language processing has not been prominent. With few exceptions (e. g. Goodluck and Tavakolian, 1982; Pinker, 1984) discussions of language perform ance tend to arise only when experimental debris, the artifact of some experiment, needs to be cleared away. Consequently, language pro cessing has been viewed as a collection of rather uninteresting perform ance factors obscuring the true object of interest, namely, grammar acquisition. On those occasions when parsing "strategies" have been incorporated into accounts of language development, they have often been discussed as vague preferences, not open to rigorous analysis. In principle, however, theories of language comprehension can and should be subjected to the same criteria of explicitness and explanatoriness as other theories, e. g. , theories of grammar. Thus their peripheral role in accounts of language development may reflect accidental factors, rather than any inherent fuzziness or irrelevance to the language acquisition problem. It seems probable that an explicit model of the way(s) processing routines are applied in acquisition would help solve some central problems of grammar acquisition, since these routines regulate the application of grammatical knowledge to novel inputs.
The Grammatical Nature of the Acquisition Sequence: Adjoin-a and the Formation of Relative Clauses.- The Status of Grammatical Default Systems: Comments on Lebeaux.- On Unparsable Input in Language Acquisition.- Logical and Psychological Constraints on the Acquisition of Syntax.- How to Make Parameters Work: Comments on Valian.- On Parameter Setting and Parsing: Predictions for Cross-Linguistic Differences in Adult and Child Processing.- Comments on Mazuka and Lust's paper.- Parameters and Parameter-Setting in a Phrase Structure Grammar.- The Acquisition of Long-distance Rules.- Child Grammars - Radically Different, or More of the Same?: Comments on de Villiers, Roeper and Vainikka.- The Processing and Acquisition of Control Structures by Young Children.- Intuitions, Category and Structure: Comments on McDaniel and Cairns.- Visiting Relatives in Italy.- Obeying the Binding Theory.- Knowledge Integration in Processing and Acquisition: Comments on Grimshaw and Rosen.- List of First Authors.