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This is a highly critical review of David Lightfoots 1999 book "The development of language", which argues that there are no principles of grammatical change, so that "historicist" or deterministic approaches to diachronic change are misguided. Instead, Lightfoot argues that language change can only be understood by taking the perspective of the "growth" (i.e. acquisition) of an individual's biological grammar, which may end up with a different parameter setting from the parent's generationdoi:10.5281/zenodo.1250543 fatcat:rwxtarsew5hovadllrhypzylhy