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PDF File Acquiring Phonology (Earlier Version). Child language data have usually been considered as external evidence for linguistic theory, but they have never had much influence on phonological theory. Yet, the central goal of linguistics is to understand what knowledge of language entails and how it is acquired. Recently, Chomsky (2004) stressed that in order to understand what constitutes syntactic knowledge it is important to gain insight into how a lexicon is built up during acquisition, and what lexical representations look like.