• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Critically evaluate one theory of language development. Chomsky argues that language is a formal system

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Critically evaluate any one theory of language development Every species in the world has some form of communication system; enabling them to communicate with each other using signs and signals. None however, have the complexities of the human communication system; language. It is thought that humans are the only species which have language, this allows us to externalise our thoughts and feelings, in turn enabling us to interact with others around us. As language plays such an important part in our world it is understandable why so much research has been carried out in an attempt to understand how language develops. Further understanding on this topic could have considerable implications for education and child development. Three main theories have emerged from this research. The first is that the child learns language from the surrounding environment, the second is that every child has an innate ability that enables to acquire language and the third is that language develops as the cognitive ability of the child develops. This essay intends to look at the biological approach to language development, it will do so by examining research that both supports and rejects an innate ability for language in infants. It is thought that every human goes through universal stages of development. Pre-linguistic, holographic, telegraphic, simple sentences, 3 - 4 years, early school years and the middle childhood stage can be seen in every child across a variety of countries and cultures. ...read more.

Middle

He says that 'complex language is universal because children actually reinvent it'. This can be seen in labourers who have been imported into the sugar cane industry from China, Japan and Korea, who developed a pidgin language as a way of communication (Bickerton, 1990, in Smith, Cowie and Blades, 2003). The language that the labourers used had no grammatical structure and no consistent word order yet when their children were studied, despite only being exposed to the parent's speech, they used grammatical rules when talking. This suggests that the ability for language is innate as language seems to develop itself and translate non-grammatical sentences into grammatical sentences. It also shows that the child cannot be simply imitating the language of those around. This idea can be found in other societies as well as it has been found that most adult speech is not grammatical and that despite the parents disregard for grammar that the children still learn a grammatically correct language (Slobin, 1975, in Gross, 1999). Evidence to suggest reinvention of an existing language has also been replicated in deaf children. Children who had only been introduced to signs that the parents devised to communicate with them, were found to spontaneously devise their own signs and language (derived from the original signs) when grouped with other deaf children, (Kegl et al. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is clear from evidence provided by psychologists (Chomsky, 1957, Goldin -Meadow and Feldman, 1977 and Brown and Bellugi, 1964 etc.) that an innate ability is involved in the acquisition of language, however this does not explain all features of language development. Chomsky's biological approach focuses mainly on the acquisition of grammar and the rules employed to develop grammar in language. More recently Piaget has claimed that it is important to look at communication and understanding of language and not to focus solely on grammatical competence, (In Smith, Cowie and Blades, 2003). Piaget notes that in the first two years of development intellectual ability relies on sensori-motor skills not from symbols such as language. Piaget believes that the understanding and rules of language developed from the child's cognitive system, (Cromer, 1974, in Smith, Cowie and Blades, 2003). It is more likely that it is a combination of innate preparedness and cognitive ability that together produce the development of the language system that we communicate with. 1,667 words REFERNCES: Golinkoff, R. M. (1984).The transition from pre-linguistic to linguistic communication. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Gross, R. (1999) Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour. (3rd Edition) Hodder and Stoughton. Smith, P. K, Cowie, H. and Blades, M. (2003). Understanding Children's Development. (4th Edition) Oxford: Blackwell. Taylor, I. (1976). Introduction to Psycholinguistics. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Watson. Wells, G and Nicholls, J. (1985). Language and Learning: An Interactional perspective. The Falmer Press ?? ?? ?? ?? PS52004A: Language Development Anna Lacey 11/11/04 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Investigating how language has changed in children's literature; in relation to interaction between ...

    5 star(s)

    and everyone else's and yet still come out well in their work. And there are people like you, who can also play the fool and waste their time - but unfortunately it affects their work, and they slide down to the bottom.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Language Aquisition Notes

    5 star(s)

    of its language learning, would find it easy to pick up 40 new words in a single week. Also, Kamala's words were only partly-formed and her grammar stilted" * Stages of negatives: o Aged 0-15months - Gestures are used to indicate a negative o 15-18months - single words "no" "not"

  1. Peer reviewed

    The Language used in School Reports

    3 star(s)

    Pupil behaviour and lack of respect for authority is a current issue that did not apply when reports in the database pre-2000 were produced The teacher also possesses instrumental power through her job status. This, in theory, has remained the same throughout time.

  2. Investigation into Gender Differences in the Language of Personal Profiles on Dating Websites

    Manchester, United Kingdom Relationships: Never Married Have kids: None Want kids: Someday (2) Ethnicity: White / Caucasian Body type: About average Height: 5'11" (180cms) Religion: Other Smoke: No Way Drink: Social drinker, maybe one or two In my own words for fun: I'm ridiculously addicted to my guitars and video games.

  1. Theories Of Language Development - Chomsky and Skinner

    The deep structure refers to the "real" meaning, which is "please would you make me a jam sandwich from bread and jam". Individual languages use different sounds and have special rules of grammar. Chomsky called these individual rule surface structures.

  2. How do Politicians gain support through language? AQA English coursework

    INTERROGATIVE SENTENCES Tony Blair uses rhetorical questions most prominently, at the beginning of his speech to grab the audience's attention and participation. Interrogative sentences are used primarily to highlight what Labour has done whilst in power, for example the simple sentence "But who talks of boom and bust economics today?"

  1. Semantic Processing in Advertising

    However some participants commented after the tape had been stopped. An interesting comment made was about the word 'camera'. A male participant said that he remembered this word in particular because he does photography and so it had an underlying meaning to him.

  2. The topic of religious language has many facets for exploration. The area of research ...

    the highest level allowable that the entire congregation has heard and had time to note down what has been said. "Every disease and sickness" is spoken in a discernibly more rhythmic pattern, each word being stretched or reduced to match that of its neighbour.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work