Language Development Essay
1. What three questions are important to consider when examining a language development theory? Write out each question AND provide a description of the major points of all three.
The first question is “What do infants bring to the task of language learning?”. This question looks at the longstanding question of nature versus nurture or otherwise known as nativist versus empiricist debate. Some theorists believe that babies are born with the capacity to acquire langue, while others argue that babies learn language through their environments and experiences within their homes, families, and surroundings. These two arguments are extremes and most theorists are between the two ends of the spectrum where they believe …show more content…
This theory supports the argument that there is no knowledge of language at birth.
4. Summarize and describe two major NATURE-inspired theories of language development.
Universal Grammar is one nature-inspired theory. Noam Chomsky argued that language acquisition depends on an innate model, which is only for language learning and nothing else. According to this theory, the knowledge of language, which children have from birth, is called linguistic competence. Linguistic performance involves the production and comprehension of language.
Another theory is the Modularity Theory, which focuses on the organization of the brain as a progression of highly specific modules. This representation includes modules for various aspects of language learning. Encapsulization means that processors in the brain operate independently from each other and as a result language modules operate independently to perform their functions. Because language modules function independently, different types of input can influence language development in different