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Recent evidence against the Language Bioprogram Hypothesis: The pivotal case of Hawai'i Creole

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Referring to recent sociohistorical and comparative linguistic research on Hawai'i Creole, this article critically examines the four main tenets of Derek Bickerton's Language Bioprogram Hypothesis: (1) that creoles were created in one generation with only a rudimentary pidgin as input for first language acquisition; (2) that children had to go beyond the input to come up with a fully fledged language; (3) that widely distributed creole languages are virtually identical in particular linguistic features; and (4) that these features did not come from creole speakers' ancestral languages. The article concludes that creole languages do not provide evidence for innate specific linguistic knowledge; however, they are theoretically interesting in what they can reveal about language acquisition with diverse input.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-02-01

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