Typological evidence and Universal Grammar
The paper discusses the relevance of typological evidence for the construction of a theory of Universal Grammar (UG). After introducing UG-based approaches to typology, it goes on to argue that most typological generalizations are in no sense ‘knowledge of language’. In fact, some of the best-established typological generalizations have explanations based on language use, and so it is either empirically unmotivated or redundant to attempt to encompass them within UG theory. This conclusion is reinforced by a look at the widely-accepted Lexical Parameterization Hypothesis and by the current shift of interest to ‘microparameters’. The paper goes on to take a critical look at Mark Baker’s Parameter Hierarchy.