Aniello De Santo's paper in Frontiers (March. 6)

The full citation is:

De Santo A (2018) Commentary: Developmental Constraints on Learning Artificial Grammars with Fixed, Flexible, and Free Word Order. Front. Psychol. 9:276. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00276

Further information is available here.
A long standing hypothesis in linguistics is that typological generalizations can shed light on the nature of the cognitive constraints underlying language processing and acquisition. In this perspective, Nowak and Baggio (2017) address the question of whether human learning mechanisms are constrained in ways that reflect typologically attested (possible) or unattested (impossible) linguistic patterns (Moro et al., 2001; Moro, 2016).

Here, I show that the contrasts in Nowak and Baggio (2017) can be explained by language-theoretical characterizations of the stimuli, in line with a relatively recent research program focused on studying phonological generalizations from a mathematical perspective (Heinz, 2011a,b). The fundamental insight is that linguistic regularities that fall outside of certain complexity classes cannot be learned, due to computational properties reflecting implicit cognitive biases.