Universal grammar

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Universal grammar

  1. 1. UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR (UG)AND SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION Guillermo Cid Sandra Leiva Patricia Retamales
  2. 2.  How do people learn a language? Do we learn language the way we learn everything? Or is there some special way our brains learns a language?
  3. 3. HISTORY HISTORYUNIVERSAL UNIVERSALGRAMMAR GRAMMAR SECOND SECONDLANGUAGE LANGUAGEACQUISITION ACQUISITION
  4. 4. FORMER THEORIES 1950s 1957 Structuralism BehaviorismFerdinand de Saussure Burrhus Frederic Skinner
  5. 5. Structuralism Phonology /skæfəldɪ ŋ/ DID NOT PROVIDE ANY FRAMEWORK Lexicon Morphology Set of words Un+limit+ed OF HOW LEARNING LEVELS OF TAKES PLACE. PRODUCTION Semantics Syntax Meaning S+v+O
  6. 6. Behaviorism C O N STIMULUS RESPONSE D process I T I O N I REINFORCEMENT N G
  7. 7. Behaviorism The brain is “blank slate” at birth.
  8. 8. Universal Grammar • If children learn language by conditioning and imitation, why do they say things they have 1960s never heard before? • why can adults make completely novel sentences?
  9. 9. It is a theory that suggests that some rules ofgrammar are hard-wired into the brain, andmanifest without being taught.
  10. 10.  Language acquisition. Nativisim (Innate language ability). LAD (Language Acquisition Device). Generative Grammar.
  11. 11. UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR ARGUMENTS 1. Poverty of the Stimulus. 2.Constraints and principles cannot be learned. 3. Patterns of development are universal.
  12. 12. 1. Poverty of the Stimulus . Children hear only a finite number of sentences. They are able to abstract the rules and principles of the language. They Produce a infinite number of possible sentences without any formal training. Ungrammatical Grammatical acceptable input output
  13. 13. 2.Constraints and principles cannot be learned. Children are very young when acquiring L1. They do not have the cognitive ability to understand the principles of grammar as a system. Because of innate capacity they are capable of producing correct grammar.
  14. 14. 3. Patterns of development are universal Children learn the various aspects of a language in a very similar order.
  15. 15. Brown (1973).  There is a very specific order of MORPHEME acquisition. 1. Present Progressive -ing * Daddy jumping 2. Plural –s * Many books 3. Irregular past forms * I run – I ranThe sequence is quite fixed All children learn in the samein order, but not in rate. order, but some take longer than others.
  16. 16. LADSet of commongrammatical rules. UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR
  17. 17.  Refers to a set of rules that can predict which combinations of words are able to make grammatically correct sentences.Example: “That’s how you say it”X “How that’s you say it”
  18. 18. Chomsky added two concepts later:-Principles and parameters-The minimalist program Noam Chomsky
  19. 19. Principles and Parameters Framework within the Generative Linguistics Syntax of a natural languageGeneral Principles Specific Parameters (Abstract rules) (markers,switches)
  20. 20. We all have a built in language acquisition device.(same across languages).Principles are built in rules for grammar.
  21. 21. Languages are different in syntactical order Eg. English : The red ball Spanish : La pelota roja. When learning a language the mind automatically adjust the already existing rules or parameters Before a noun After a noun
  22. 22. For example:The distinction between whether a language is head-initial or head final is regarded as aparameter which is either on or off for particular languages e.g.English is head-initial, whereas Japanese is head-final
  23. 23. The goal of linguistics is to identify all of theprinciples and parameters that are universal tohuman language (called: Universal Grammar).
  24. 24. The Minimalist Program (MP) is a major line ofinquiry that has been developing inside GenerativeGrammar since the early nineties.Chomsky presents MP as a program, not as a theory. Conceptual framework to guide the developmental grammatical theory
  25. 25. The Minimalist Program (MP) is a major line ofinquiry that has been developing inside GenerativeGrammar since the early nineties.Chomsky presents MP as a program, not as a theory. Conceptual framework to guide the developmental grammatical theory
  26. 26. For Chomsky there are minimalist questions but theanswers can be framed in any theoryWhy language has the properties it has?MP explains the specific view of syntactic grammar
  27. 27. •Distinction between lexical and functionalcategory•Chomsky basically found that learners need tolearn only the lexical information of the words•Syntactic function develops automatically
  28. 28. Researchers have tried to find outwhether L2 learners have access to UG or not.
  29. 29. Cook (1985) presented three hypotheses:No access hypothesis: UG is inaccessible to L2 learner Indirect access hypothesis:UG is partially available to the learnersDirect access hypothesis:UG is fully available
  30. 30. Universal Other mentalGrammar abilities Direct No access access L1 L2 grammar Indirect grammar Access
  31. 31. ( Language data) ( A grammar of a language) ( Language Acquisition Device)
  32. 32. INPUT L1 Grammar UG Principles Parameters

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