Disagreement about 'universals' or universal disagreement?

Gnosis 11 (2):1-10 (2010)
Abstract
It has been widely assumed that all languages share some structural features; language universals. Evans and Levinson challenge this assumption and provide a wealth of empirical evidence supporting their claim that linguistic diversity is the most remarkable characteristic of human languages. The response to their paper reveals fundamental disagreements, indicating that different authors rely on substantially different definitions of key terms such as ‘language’ and ‘language universal’. In this paper I will not take sides but discuss the implications of these different definitions on the debate and suggest that conceptual precision is essential for the success of the discipline-crossing collaboration that is needed in language evolution research. Insights gained from other debates in evolutionary theorizing should inform language evolution debates
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