Language acquistion theories essay

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Language acquistion theories essay

Whereas other species do communicate with an innate ability to produce a limited number of meaningful vocalizations e. This ability is remarkable in itself. What makes it even more remarkable is that researchers are finding evidence for mastery of this complex skill in increasingly younger children.

Infants as young as 12 months are reported to have sensitivity to the grammar needed to understand causative sentences who did what to whom; e. After more than 60 years of research into child language development, the mechanism that enables children to segment syllables and words out of the strings of Language acquistion theories essay they hear, and to acquire grammar to understand and produce language is still quite an enigma.

Early Theories One of the earliest scientific explanations of language acquisition was provided by Skinner As one of the pioneers of behaviorismhe accounted for language development by means of environmental influence. Skinner argued that children learn language based on behaviorist reinforcement principles by associating words with meanings.

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Correct utterances are positively reinforced when the child realizes the communicative value of words and phrases. Consequently, he proposed the theory of Universal Grammar: Universal Grammar is considered to contain all the grammatical information needed to combine these categories, e.

For example, according to the Universal Grammar account, children instinctively know how to combine a noun e. This Chomskian approach to language acquisition has inspired hundreds of scholars to investigate the nature of these assumed grammatical categories and the research is still ongoing.

Contemporary Research A decade or two later some psycho linguists began to question the existence of Universal Grammar.

Language acquistion theories essay

They argued that categories like noun and verb are biologically, evolutionarily and psychologically implausible and that the field called for an account that can explain for the acquisition process without innate categories.

Researchers started to suggest that instead of having a language-specific mechanism for language processing, children might utilise general cognitive and learning principles.

Whereas researchers approaching the language acquisition problem from the perspective of Universal Grammar argue for early full productivity, i. It is suggested that children are sensitive to patterns in language which enables the acquisition process.

An example of this gradual pattern learning is morphology acquisition. Morphemes are the smallest grammatical markers, or units, in language that alter words. In English, regular plurals are marked with an —s morpheme e.

Children are considered to acquire their first instances of third singular forms as entire phrasal chunks Daddy kicks, a girl eats, a dog barks without the ability of teasing the finest grammatical components apart.

When the child hears a sufficient number of instances of a linguistic construction i. In this case, the repeated pattern is the —s marker in this particular verb form.

Approaching language acquisition from the perspective of general cognitive processing is an economical account of how children can learn their first language without an excessive biolinguistic mechanism.

Conclusion However, finding a solid answer to the problem of language acquisition is far from being over. Our current understanding of the developmental process is still immature.

Investigators of Universal Grammar are still trying to convince that language is a task too demanding to acquire without specific innate equipment, whereas the constructivist researchers are fiercely arguing for the importance of linguistic input.

Language acquistion theories essay

The biggest questions, however, are yet unanswered. How much does the child need to be exposed to language to achieve the adult-like state? What account can explain variation between languages and the language acquisition process in children acquiring very different languages to English?

The mystery of language acquisition is granted to keep psychologists and linguists alike astonished a decade after decade.

Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. Journal of Child Language, 35 1: Evidence from the dative. Language Learning and Development, 7 1: Journal of Child Language, 32 2: The New Science of Language and Mind.

How to reference this article:This essay will deal with three theories of language acquisition: the linguistic theory, behaviourist theory and social interactionist theory. Theories Of Language Acquisition Essay Sample. The behaviourist psychologists developed their theories while carrying out a series of experiments on animals.

They observed that rats or birds, for example, could be taught to perform various tasks by encouraging habit-forming. Researchers rewarded desirable behaviour.

Some empiricist theories of language acquisition include the statistical learning theory. Charles F. Hockett of language acquisition, relational frame theory, functionalist linguistics, social interactionist theory, and usage-based language acquisition.

Language Acquisition essays The theory that there is a critical period for linguistic acquisition may be analysed through the indirect observation of cognitive learning to communicate.

Whilst there are many human languages, all demonstrate a . Second Language Acquisition And Learning Theories Education Essay Theories that have been developed to account for 2nd linguistic communication acquisition, or acquisition, are closely related to those discussed above as general larning theories.

- Theories of Language Acquisition The theories of language acquisition are essentially centred around the nature nurture argument.

The theory that children have an innate capacity for language was created by Noam Chomsky () an American linguistic.