Showing posts from February, 2012

Language Acquisition & Rebirth

The very interesting linguistic courses I took at University of Peradeniya exposed me to range of theories about language acquisition. Noam Chomsky's universal language and Skinner's behavioral approach were our focus. We thoroughly examined the similarities, dissimilarities, pros, cons of both theories.

Chomsky’s theory applies to all languages as they all contain nouns, verbs, consonants and vowels and children are ‘hard-wired’ to acquire the grammar.

Evidence to support Chomsky’s theory
Children learning to speak never make grammatical errors such as getting their subjects, verbs and objects in the wrong order. If an adult deliberately said a grammatically incorrect sentence, the child would notice. Children often say things that are ungrammatical such as ‘mama ball’, which they cannot have learnt passively. Mistakes such as ‘I drawed’ instead of ‘I drew’ show they are not learning through imitation alone. Chomsky used the sentence ‘colourless green ideas sleep furiously’, wh…