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Language Acquisition in Children

:: 9 Works Cited :: 9 Sources Cited
Length: 1619 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Price: $29.95
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Language Acquisition in Children


Introduction

The study of language development, one of the most fascinating human achievements, has a long and rich history, extending over thousands of years (Chomsky, 2000). As the nature-versus-nurture argument is inevitable to arise whenever human behaviors are discussed, it is not surprising that language experts have debated the relative influences of genetics and the environment on language development (Hulit & Howard, 2002). Among the various proposals concerning the mechanisms involved in acquiring a language, two opposing theoretical positions, the behaviorist and the nativist, are the most prominent and influential ones (Ayoun, 2003; Garton & Pratt, 1998; Owens, 2001). Due to the indefinite explanation of the exact process, the continuous interest of the inquiring people, and the sheer significance of the precise result, the controversy remains ongoing and popular. In view of the more obvious limitations of the behaviorist interpretation and the prevailing contributions of the nativist interpretation, the latter one is more rational to accept.

Limitations of the behaviorist interpretation
As the name implies, behaviorism focuses on people’s behaviors, which are directly observable, rather than on the mental systems underlying these behaviors (Narasimhan, 1998). Language is viewed as a kind of verbal behavior and it is proposed that children learn language through imitation, reinforcement, analogy, and structured input (F...


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... of language: A concise anthology (pp. 3-44). Peterborough: Broadview Press.

Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. (2003). An introduction to language (7th ed.). Boston: Heinle.

Garton, A., & Pratt, C. (1998). Learning to be literate: The development of spoken and written language (2nd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Hulit, L. M., & Howard, M. R. (2002). Born to talk: An introduction to speech and language development (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Meadow, S. G. (2003). The resilience of language. New York: Psychology Press.

Narasimhan, R. (1998). Language behaviour: Acquisition and evolutuionary history. London: Sage Publications.

Owens, R. E. (2001). Language development (5th ed.). Needham Heights: Allyn & Bacon.

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