The Biological Basis of Language Development

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The Biological Basis of Language Development "The principles and rules of grammar are the means by which the forms of language are made to correspond with the universal froms of thought....The structures of every sentence is a lesson in logic." BIOLOGICAL BASIS OF LANGUAGE "[H]uman knowledge is organized de facto by linguistic competence through language performance, and our exploration of reality is always mediated by language" (Danchin 29). Most higher vertebrates possess ‘intuitive knowledge’ which occurs as the result of slow evolution of species. However, the ability to create knowledge through language is unique to humans. According to Benjamin Whorf, "language…. is not merely a reproducing instrument from voicing ideas but rather is itself the shaper of ideas…. We dissect nature along lines laid down by language" (Joseph 249). In addition, the development and acquisition of language seems to be related to "complex sequential processing, and the ability to form concepts and to classify a single stimulus in a multiple manner" (Joseph 178). Antione Danchin suggests that the knowledge we create through language allows us distinguish ourselves from the rest of the world to produce models of reality, which become more and more adequate due to the "self-referent loop" which enables us to understand ourselves as objects under study. This "path from subject to object," which is common to all humans, Danchin claims, suggests the existence of a universal feature of language (29). Biological foundation of language may contribute significantly to such universality. The issue here is not whether language is innate, for, clearly, language must be learned. Nor is the issue whether the aptitude for learning a la... ... middle of paper ... ...guage. Vol 58(2) 265-326, Jun 1997. Modgil, Sohan and Celia Modgil. Noam Chomsky: Consensus and Controversy. New York: The Falmer Press, 1987. Persson, Inga-Britt. Connectionism, language production and adult aphasia: elaboration of a connectionist framework for lexical processing and a hypothesis of agrammatic aphasia. Helsinki, Finland: Societas Scientiarum Fennica, 1995. Schachter, Jacquelyn. Some semantic prerequisites for a model of language. Brain & Language. Vol 3(2) 292-304, Apr 1976. Schnitzer, Marc L. Toward a neurolinguistic theory of language. Brain & Language. Vol 6(3) 342-361, Nov 1978. Skinner, B. F. Verbal behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1970. Vocate, Donna R. The Theory of A.R. Luria: Functions of Spoken Language in the Development of Higher Mental Process. Hillsdale[NJ]: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 1987.
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