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Language Acquisition & The Brain

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by

Clive Forrester

on 18 June 2018

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Transcript of Language Acquisition & The Brain

Language Acquisition & The Brain
The "ingredients" for human language
Language Acquisition
1. Appears before necessary for survival
Theories & Ideas of Language Acquisition
1. Universal Grammar (see Noam Chomsky): Innate information pertaining to phonological differences, word order, and phrase recognition
Localized in the Brain
"A language is a dialect with
an army and a navy"
Max Weinrich
The distinction between a "language" and a "dialect" is more often than not a sociopolitical distinction as opposed to a linguistic/scientific one
Characteristics of Language
Animal
Communication
Human
Language
Openness/
Productivity
Limited or
non-existent
Infinite
Discreet signals
No
(continuous & indistinct)
Yes
(noncontinuous & distinct)
Arbitrariness
Somewhat
Completely
Stimulus
Instinct
Environment/
Context
Displacement
Limited
Unbounded
Prevarication
Absent
Present
Genetic Adaptation
Fine Motor Skills & Vocal Dexterity
Need for Social Cooperation
Strong Pattern Recognition & Memory
"Mind Reading" & Language Acquisition
2. Not an environmental response
3. Not a conscious decision
4. Formal training unnecessary
5. Occurs within predictable timeframe, for ALL infants
6. Emerges within a developmental "window", triggered by linguistic input from surrounding
2. L.A.D (Language Acquisition Device): The area in the brain hardwired for language acquisition
3. Critical period hypothesis: The LAD will cease to function after a while without adequate input.
4. Imitation hypothesis: Children acquire language by imitating others around them (least likely)
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