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Research data . Dataset . 2019

Replication Data for: Universal linguistic hierarchies are not innately wired

Leivada, Evelina; Westergaard, Marit;
Open Access
Published: 01 Jan 2019
Publisher: DataverseNO

This research put the nature and rigidity of linguistic hierarchies to test, taking multiple adjective placement as a case study. We developed an on-line forced choice experiment that measured (i) acceptability judgment ratings and (ii) reaction times, in a big sample of neurotypical, adult speakers of Standard Greek (n=140) and Cypriot Greek (n=30). The task compares what happens when people are asked to process sentences that either comply with or violate allegedly universal ordering constraints that have been described as the outcome of innately wired hierarchies. Our findings do not provide any evidence for a universal hierarchy for adjective ordering that imposes one rigid, unmarked order. We argue that the obtained results are effectively reducing the amount of primitives that are cast as innate, eventually offering a deflationist approach to human linguistic cognition.


Arts and Humanities, Likert scale, Universal Grammar, experimental linguistics, forced choice experiment, Humanities, Linguistics

Funded by
Disentangling variation: A crosslinguistic investigation of bilingualism and non-standardization
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 746652
  • Funding stream: H2020 | MSCA-IF-EF-ST
Validated by funder
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