Language Acquisition And Its Effects On Language Development Essay

1591 Words Aug 23rd, 2015 7 Pages
1. What is the language acquisition device, and what arguments have been put forward for and against it?

Introduction:
What is language acquisition?
Language acquisition is the process by which we learn to speak and write language in order to communicate.
There are three main theories of language acquisition.
• Stimulus- response theory produced by B.F Skinner, which states that language is acquired through repetition, correction and interactions with adults.
• The Cognitive/usage based model, theorised by J. Piagant that argues language and grammar are acquired from our experiences exposed to language.
• Language Acquisition Device introduced by Noam Chomsky
This discussion will focus on the language acquisition device and the arguments that have surfaced to support it such as the Poverty of The Stimulus and arguments against it such as The Cognitive Theory.
What is the Language Acquisition Device?
Noam Chomsky first proposed the Language Acquisition device (LAD) in 1964. It is a hypothetical model hardwired into the brain that helps children to learn and understand language quickly. Chomsky later improved this theory, which is called Universal Grammar (UG). He defines UG as “the system of principles, conditions, and rules that are elements or properties of all human languages” (Chomsky, 1978:29).
In LAD, Chomsky proposed that children are born with a Language Acquisition Device that hold the rules of a language (e.g. Phonology and syntax) and they simply need the…

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