Language Evolution, Language, And Language Essay

1776 Words Mar 24th, 2016 null Page
Language evolution is viewed as a controversial topic across many disciplines. Psychologists, anthropologists, neuroscientists and other members of academic community attempt to provide theories, which would explain such a complex phenomenon. The difficulty in doing so arises from the fact that there is very little evidence that would help to identify the most accurate theory (Pinker, 2003). One of the leading experts in the field of linguistics, Noam Chomsky, suggests that when exploring such a complex phenomenon such as language evolution, language should not be simply viewed as ‘communication’. Alternatively, he defines language as ‘a particular computational cognitive system, implemented neurally, that cannot be equated with an excessively expansive notion of “language as communication”’ (Bolhuis, Tattersall, Chomsky, & Berwick, 2014,’Conceptualization of language’, para 3). Chomsky is famous for his work on language development, in which he provides a theory opposing Skinner’s theory based on principles of behaviourism. Chomsky suggests that language faculty is innate and it evolved by a single macro mutation at some point during the course of evolution (Chomsky, 1988). ‘Language faculty’ is one of the centre concepts used by Chomsky in forming his ideas on language development; the term was expanded in his paper written in cooperation with Hauser and Fitch, where they defined ‘the faculty of language’ as “many mechanisms involved in speech and language, regardless of…

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