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These theories focus mainly on the caregiver's attitudes and attentiveness to their children in order to promote productive language habits.An older empiricist theory, the behaviorist theory proposed by B. Skinner suggested that language is learned through operant conditioning, namely, by imitation of stimuli and by reinforcement of correct responses.For a child to learn language, the parent or caregiver adopts a particular way of appropriately communicating with the child; this is known as child-directed speech (CDS).
Therefore, nativists assume that it is impossible for children to learn linguistic information solely from their environment.
However, because children possess this LAD, they are in fact, able to learn language despite incomplete information from their environment.
As receptive language continues to increase, expressive language begins to slowly develop.
Usually, productive language is considered to begin with a stage of pre-verbal communication in which infants use gestures and vocalizations to make their intents known to others.
Empiricism is a general approach and sometimes goes along with the interactionist approach.
Statistical language acquisition, which falls under empiricist theory, suggests that infants acquire language by means of pattern perception.Language development is a process starting early in human life.Infants start without knowing a language, yet by 10 months, babies can distinguish speech sounds and engage in babbling.Chomsky's claim is based upon the view that what children hear—their linguistic input—is insufficient to explain how they come to learn language.He argues that linguistic input from the environment is limited and full of errors.Their capacity to learn language is also attributed to the theory of universal grammar (UG), which posits that a certain set of structural rules are innate to humans, independent of sensory experience.The empiricist theory suggests, contra Chomsky, that there is enough information in the linguistic input children receive and therefore, there is no need to assume an innate language acquisition device exists (see above).Theoretically, the LAD is an area of the brain that has a set of universal syntactic rules for all languages.This device provides children with the ability to make sense of knowledge and construct novel sentences with minimal external input and little experience.Additionally, Relational Frame Theory is growing from the behaviorist theory, which is important for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.Evolutionary biologists are skeptical of the claim that syntactic knowledge is transmitted in the human genome.