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Critical period hypothesis


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  • The CPH needs to be viewed from the perspective of successful polyglots to get a balanced picture. Here is a free article you can download:
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Critical period hypothesis

  2. 2. OUTLINE I. Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH) A. What is CPH? a. Historical Background B. Further Supportive Studies a. Brain Lateralization b. Genie and Victor C.Effects of CPH on Different Areas D. CPH for Sign Language E. Different ideas Conclusion
  3. 3. WHAT IS CPH?  The critical period hypothesis is the subject of long standing debate in linguistics and language acquisition over the extent to which the ability to acquire language is biologically linked to age.
  4. 4.  If language input does not occur until after this time, the individual will never achieve a full command of language especially grammatical systems.
  5. 5. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Wilder Penfield and co-author Lamar Roberts (1959) - The first to introduce the CPH - The main study is neuroscience of language - Up to the age of 9 can learn multiple languages
  6. 6. Eric Lenneberg (1967) - Studied the CPH in his book “Biological foundations of language”. - Children having a certain amount of time to acquire a language - Until the age of 13 language is present in both hemisphere.
  7. 7. Noam Chomsky - Children are born with an inherited ability to learn any human language - Every child has a “language acquisiton device (LAD)”
  8. 8. FURTHER SUPPORTIVE STUDIES - In the early 1960s, Chomsky had launched his idea that humans have an innate language capacity and around the same time, a neuropsychologist, Eric Lenneberg, accepting Chomsky’s claim. - Lenneberg’s reasoning was based on the notion of lateralization.
  9. 9. SAMPLES OF FERAL CHILDREN - A celebrated case is that of Victor, “the wild boy of Aveyron”, who was found in 1798. - In 1970 a child called Genie in the scientific reports was discovered. GenieVictor
  10. 10. GENIE  She was locked away from normal civilization and was undeveloped physically and emotionally.  Genie was an infant who trapped in a 13 year old body, because she could only make infant like sounds and no words or sentences.
  11. 11.  Genie full stomach.  Father take piece wood. Hit. Cry.  Want milk.  Genie bad cold live father house.
  12. 12. EFFECTS OF CPH ON DIFFERENT AREAS Phonology  There is a narrow period for the acquisition of segments of a language. (0-5 years) This period is very important for the exposure to audial input.
  13. 13. Syntax and Grammar  Syntax and Grammar are also acquired in a specific period.(0-12 years)  As Genie completed her childhood without having been exposed to her mother tongue, she couldn’t produce grammatically correct sentences.
  14. 14. Semantics  Semantics is not much effected by the critical age. Although Genie couldnt’t acquire the syntax, She was able to learn some vocabularies of her language.
  15. 15. CPH FOR SIGN LANGUAGE  It is crucial to learn sign language as early as possible. (From birth to 6 years)
  16. 16. DIFFERENT IDEAS Various theorist have claimed different ages for the termination of the CPH:  Krashen (1973)‐ 5 years  Pinker (1994)‐ 6 years  Lenneberg (1967)‐ 12 years  Johnson & Newport (1989)‐ 15 years
  17. 17. Another sample - Older is better. - Learning is linked to the mental abilities.
  18. 18. Emine ÖZKURT Esra TAMER Habip TÜREYEN Tarık YÜTÜK
  19. 19. REFERENCES: • period-hypothesis-cph • • hypothesis.htm • othesis_for_Second_Language_Acquisition_A_Review_ of_the_Literature •