The concept of an innate human disposition towards language has been referenced among philosophers for centuries. In fact, innate language capacity in relation to grammar construction has been a popular mode of argumentation differentiating the cognitive capacities of humans and of other animal species. In his Discourse on Method, Rene Descartes notes, "there are no men so dull and stupid...as to be incapable of joining together different words [yet] no other animal, however perfect or happily circumstanced, which can do the like"(Descartes 22). Philosophical discourse on the nature of language became considerably more refined in the past century and several opposing views on language acquisition arose. Despite this, American linguist, Noam Chomsky proposed the popular Innateness Hypothesis which bears a resemblance to older philosophical thinking.
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...and is repeatedly modified with added patterns or corrected rules. Corrected rules are formed by the child 's self recognition of pattern mistakes compared to those of the adult. Eventually the working grammar will match that of the adult.
Chomsky 's Innate Hypothesis and Universal Grammar have been popular theories about the nature of language acquisition that revolutionized the field of linguistics. While his ideas contributed significantly to the discipline, recent findings and theories have suggested that language is not necessarily an innate ability, but an active construction based on internal cognitive rule and pattern finding as well as constrains from the environment. The Active Construction theory better explains language acquisition by presenting it in empirically demonstrable terms without relying on metaphysical explanations and a pirori knowledge.
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