This paper revisits the study of linguistic variation within the Government and Binding approach to parameters, pointing out some limitations of parameter schemata in language contact scenarios. Discussion is focused on the possibility that clustering effects (the schemata themselves) are more complex than conventional approaches suggest. We outline an alternative approach, directly connected to Uriagereka’s typology or parameters, which is itself based on Chomsky’s Theory of Formal Languages. Empirically, we focus on language contact situations, as they provide cases where variation by contact operates under what we call an Excess of Stimulus, whereby access to the relevant data is overwhelming, but somehow ignored by learners.
- Language contact
- Poverty of stimulus