Universal grammar

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  • This presentation appears to use text copy and pasted from Wikipedia. The text in question is the text from the 'Chomsky's theory' section of the Universal grammar article on Wikipedia. The text in question has been part of that article since 2006 so it is highly unlikely to have come from this presentation.

    It is possible, and based on the text, quite likely, that the text on Wikipedia was plagiarised from somewhere else as well, at least in that section. So it is possible that the text in this presentation is also copied from the same source as the text in the Wikipedia article.

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    (Note: I myself have never edited that article, and in fact think that the section in question was plagiarised from elsewhere, while looking for the source I found this, but the dates don't quite match up. Plagiarism is a ethical issue, and in many cases a legal one as well. Its something I care a lot about.)

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  • This approach is contextual, meaning that, although there are believed to be similarities among all languages, not all languages have the same grammar. It does not attempt to determine independent facts that hold true for every single language on Earth. These rules outline how human languages develop when faced with these basic principles, however. By combining the rules with observations about a language, linguists can often determine a language's word order, phonemes, and other foundational traits.
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  • This language theory contrasts the empiricist view that our mind is a clean sheet or a tabula rasa containing no knowledge prior to experience. Universal Grammar claims that language is innate; we are born with a Language Acquisition Device that contains knowledge of grammatical rules common to all languages. Hence, it allows us to understand the rules of whatever language we are exposed to. One opposing view against the existence of Language Acquisition Device is that languages are so diverse, therefore, we could only learn the other languages by a general intelligence, not by innate language device. However, Chomsky reasoned out that all human languages have the same underlying structures; they all have phrase structure rules and transformational rules, though they differ in terms of surface structure. We may not be able to learn all the other languages such as Japanese, Chinese, French etc. in terms of their phonological component, nevertheless, they all have the same deep grammatical structure as with our first language. This means that though languages differ in terms of phonological component or sounds, they all manifest the same structure and meaning. Thus, we can easily acquire the other languages because the human mind is already wired or programmed to receive language.
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  • Universal grammar inside the classroom is really profound. This is usually observe most often than not in day to day conversation of our students, student to student conversations and the like. Regardless of the syntactic rules in grammar learners are aware of it. They can use the language technically because of the built-in grammar as cited by chomsky. The presence and birth of different languages made the students become knowledgeable of the language they are using. They know how to adopt in the environment through which may consider as factor why they are good in their L1 and L2. As implication, such restrictions should be thoroughly watch over the teacher so that they'll be acquainted with what necessary to use or to speak or not. Plus, learners should be responsible enough in dealing with the context of the language they're using to because no two cultural contents are alike. Meaning, you cannot use a certain word you have learned from the other culture to another culture. It is such a matter of responsibility both the teacher and learner and the people who surrounds them.
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  • Universal Grammar tells us the theory about the innate skill of our brain to have experimentation with the language we use..That innate skill enables us to produce another word, out of the language that we know.It is the line of reasoning that led Noam Chomsky to propose that language acquisition in children is the key to understanding the nature of language, and that children must be equipped with an innate Universal Grammar: a set of plans for the grammatical machinery that powers all human languages.Therefore in every classroom discussion,teachers should also make every learner acquainted with the pointers that they should avoid ,regarding the things that may violate the language restrictions as proficient speakers of the particular language know and apply.
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  • 1. Jonathan Manantan Mensalvas Master of Arts in Education Major in English Language Teaching
  • 2. is a theory in linguistics, usually credited to Noam Chomsky, proposing that the ability to learn grammar is hardwired into the brain.
  • 3. UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR (UG) The theory suggests that linguistic ability manifests itself without being taught and that there are properties that all natural human languages share. It is a matter of observation and experimentation to determine precisely what abilities are innate and what properties are shared by all languages.
  • 4. • Linguist Noam Chomsky made the argument that the human brain contains a limited set of rules for organizing language. In turn, there is an assumption that all languages have a common structural basis. This set of rules is known as universal grammar. CHOMSKY'S THEORY • Chomsky has stated "I think, yet the world thinks in me", which exemplifies the fact that he believes that since humans have undergone evolution and have been created by nature, that Universal Grammar is a biological evolutionary trait, and therefore common to all humans.
  • 5. UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR (UG) • Speakers proficient in a language know what expressions are acceptable in their language and what expressions are unacceptable. The key puzzle is how speakers should come to know the restrictions of their language, since expressions which violate those restrictions are not present in the input, indicated as such. This absence of negative evidence—that is, absence of evidence that an expression is part of a class of the ungrammatical sentences in one's language—is the core of the poverty of stimulus argument. For example, in English one cannot relate a question word like 'what' to a predicate within a relative clause (1): • (1) *What did John meet a man who sold?
  • 6. UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR (UG) • Such expressions are not available to the language learners, because they are, by hypothesis, ungrammatical for speakers of the local language. Speakers of the local language do not utter such expressions and note that they are unacceptable to language learners. Universal grammar offers a solution to the poverty of the stimulus problem by making certain restrictions universal characteristics of human languages. Language learners are consequently never tempted to generalize in an illicit fashion.
  • 7. ETYMOLOGY: • The concept of universal grammar has been traced to the observation of Roger Bacon, a 13th-century Franciscan friar and philosopher, that all languages are built upon a common grammar. The expression was popularized in the 1950s and 1960s by Noam Chomsky and other linguists
  • 8. • "In cracking the code of language, . . . children's minds must be constrained to pick out just the right kinds of generalizations from the speech around them. . . . It is this line of reasoning that led Noam Chomsky to propose that language acquisition in children is the key to understanding the nature of language, and that children must be equipped with an innate Universal Grammar: a set of plans for the grammatical machinery that powers all human languages.
  • 9. This idea sounds more controversial than it is (or at least more controversial than it should be) because the logic of induction mandates that children make some assumptions about how language works in order for them to succeed at learning a language at all. The only real controversy is what these assumptions consist of: a blueprint for a specific kind of rule system, a set of abstract principles, or a mechanism for finding simple patterns (which might also be used in learning things other than language)."
  • 10. • "Generative grammarians believe that the human species evolved a genetically universal grammar common to all peoples and that the variability in modern languages is basically on the surface only." (Michael Tomasello, Constructing a Language: A Usage-Based Theory of Language Acquisition. Harvard Univ. Press, 2003)
  • 11. • "There is a broad measure of agreement that the following are universal: • - some lexical categories (noun and verb); - structure-dependency; - phrases containing a head of the same type as the phrase; - a phrase structure consisting of Specifier, Head, and Complement. UG theory accepts that languages may deviate to some degree from the universal pattern. A language user's competence is said to consist of a core grammar of universal principles and parameters and a periphery of features specific to the language in question, which cannot be explained by reference to UG. They might be survivals from an earlier stage of the language, loans from other languages or fixed idioms." (John Field, Psycholinguistics: The Key Concepts. Routledge, 2004)
  • 12. • "I and many fellow linguists would estimate that we only have a detailed scientific description of something like 10% to 15% of the world's languages, and for 85% we have no real documentation at all. Thus it seems premature to begin constructing grand theories of universal grammar. If we want to understand universals, we must first know the particulars." (K. David Harrison, linguist at Swarthmore College, in "Seven Questions for K. David Harrison." The Economist, Nov. 23, 2010)
  • 13. •Presence of creole languages • Presence of creole languages
  • 14. The presence of creole languages is sometimes cited as further support for this theory, especially by Bickerton’s controversial language bio program theory.
  • 15. CREOLE LANGUAGES • Creoles are languages that are developed and formed when different societies come together and are forced to devise their own system of communication. The system used by the original speakers is typically an inconsistent mix of vocabulary items known as a pidgin. As these speakers' children begin to acquire their first language, they use the pidgin input to effectively create their own original language, known as a creole. Unlike pidgins, creoles have native speakers and make use of a full grammar.
  • 16. • According to Bickerton, the idea of universal grammar is supported by creole languages because certain features are shared by virtually all of these languages. For example, their default point of reference in time (expressed by bare verb stems) is not the present moment, but the past. Using pre-verbal auxiliaries, they uniformly express tense, aspect, and mood. Negative concord occurs, but it affects the verbal subject (as opposed to the object, as it does in languages like Spanish). Another similarity among creoles is that questions are created simply by changing a declarative sentence's intonation, not its word order or content.
  • 17. 10 Universal Characteristics of any language
  • 18. UG L1 L2 Still related through UG The user can code switch and extract one system of a language to affect the other Word order
  • 19. • • • • • • • • • • Word order Morphological marking – attached or unattached/affixes Tone – rising, falling, midtone Agreement –singular-singular/plural-plural Reduce reference Nouns/noun clauses Verb/verb clauses Predication Negation Question