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CHOMSKY
· Born in Philadelphia December 7th 1928
· Educated at the University of Pennsylvania
· He established a new relationship between
linguistics and psychology
· His views differed from that of B.F Skinner.
He opposed to the speculation that the mind
is born as a tabula rasa (a clean slate, and that
we learn through life experiences- nurture
debate)
· His approach says utterances have a syntax
characterized by a `context-free grammar'
extended with certain rules.…read more

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HE SAID... `OUR LANGUAGE IS THE RESULT OF THE
UNFOLDING OF A GENETICALLY DETERMINED
PROGRAM'
· Learning a language is a universal, innate
ability.
· This enables each normal child to construct
a systematic grammar and generate phrases.
· This theory claims to account for the fact
that children acquire language skills more
rapidly than other abilities, usually gaining
most of the basic rules by the age of four.…read more

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Chomsky explains the fact that children
readily understand transformations of a
given sentence into different forms-such as
declarative and interrogative they therefore
can easily transform sentences of their own.
(for example they can turn a question into a
statement through the use of differing
intonation.)
· More simply-children listen to those around
them and do not directly copy them but
deduce rules of language in order to form
their own speech.
· He came to his conclusions by observing
children and their development.…read more

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CRITICISMS OF CHOMSKY'S THEORY
· Evolutionary biologists commonly criticise
Chomsky's work with the preposition that the
way in which a child learns to speak is `pre-
organised.' They believe that speech is a `learned
skill'
· Another way in which Chomsky can be criticised
is his inability to take into account the social
situation and the meaning of what a child
actually is saying. By doing so he disregards the
way in which a child learns it's first language.
· Therefore it can be said that Chomsky over
generalises children and does not take into
account the fact that differing social situations
that a child finds itself in impacts on their
learning.…read more

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PINKER
Born in 1954 in the English-speaking Jewish
community of Montreal, Canada.
-Bachelor's degree in experimental
psychology.
-Earned his doctorate at Harvard in 1979.
-Currently he is Harvard College Professor
and the Johnstone Family Professor in the
Department of Psychology.
-Experimental psychologist who is interested
in all aspects of language and mind.…read more

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