2) INNATISM: IT’S ALL IN YOUR MINDChomsky (1959) argues that behaviorism cannot provide sufficient explanations for children’s language acquisition for the following reasons:
Chomsky (1959) argues that behaviorism cannot provide sufficient explanations forchildren’s language acquisition for the following reasons:
–Children come to know more about the structure of their language than they could be expected to learn on the basis ofthe samples of language they hear.
– The language children are exposed to includes false starts, incomplete sentences and slips of the tongue, and yet they learn to distinguish between grammatical and ungrammatical sentences. – Children are by no means systematically corrected or instructed on language by parents.
Children are In the same Language biologically way of other develops inprogrammed biological the childfor language functions
LAD: LANGUAGE ACQUISITION DEVICE ( or BLACK BOX)– It contains all and only the principles which are universal to all human languages (i.e.. Universal Grammar – UG).
If children are pre- equipped with UG.What they have to learn isThe ways in which theirown language make use of those principles
They By matchingchildren need discover the the innate access only structure of knowledge ofto samples of the basic a natural language to grammatical language be learned principles (UG) which serve Once the to the structures of as a trigger LAD is the particular to activate the device. activated language in the environment.
CONCLUSION• Children’s acquisition of grammatical rules is guided by principles of an innate UG which could apply to all languages. • Children “know” certain things of the language just by being exposed to a limited number of samples.
Evidence used to support Chomsky’s innatist position: Virtually all childrensuccessfully learn their native language at a time in life when they would not be expected to learn anything else so complicated (i.e. biologically programmed).
–Language is separate from other aspects of cognitive developments(e.g., creativity and social grace)and may be located in a different “module" of the brain.
The language children areexposed to does not contain examplesof all the linguistic rules and patterns.
Animals cannot learnto manipulate a symbol system as complicated as the natural language of a 3- or 4-year-old child.
Children acquire grammatical rules without getting explicit instruction.
The biological basis for the innatist position: The Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH) –Lenneberg:• There is a specific and limited time period (i.e., “critical period”) for the LAD to work successfully. • Only when it is stimulated at the right time
ONLY BY STRONG PUBERTYTwo versions AFTER PUBERTY IT WILL BE MORE WEAK DIFFICULT AND INCOMPLETE
Virtually every child learns language on a similar schedule in spite of different environments. – Three case studies of abnormal language development - evidence of the CPH •Victor – a boy of about 12 years old (1799) •Genie – a girl of 13 years old (1970) •Deaf signers (native signers, early learners, vs. late learners)