Linguistics has become split into two rival camps. The orthodox position holds that Universal Grammar is an innate function of the brain. In support of this it cites the Poverty of Stimulus Argument
However, there are some contrarians who, in spite of 50 years of theoretical linguistic research, maintain that language is learnt merely by imitation, pattern recognition and generalisation. Partisans of this faction frequently claim that there is no evidence to support the Poverty of Stimulus Argument.
Let us examine this claim in more detail. If there is indeed no evidence for the Poverty of Stimulus Argument, how did linguists arrive at it? We must conclude that it is innately present in the theoretician’s mind. Therefore, it is not only Universal Grammar that is innate, but our theoretical understanding of it, too.
The consequences for the future of theoretical linguistics are far-