A02 Points Page 1


Skinner (Imitation/Behaviourism): Children are born with no language ability. The principal method of learning to speak is by imitating adult speakers. Children learn to speak via a process of 'operant conditioning'. This is learning through a system of rewards & punishments.

Chomsky (Innateness/Nativism): This idea directly refuted Skinner by saying that children are born with an innate ability for processing grammar. This is a universal feature of the human brain and conects to Chomsky's idea of a universal grammar. 

Naomi Chomsky: Human language is very different but has a lot of similarities. Children acquire more visual and dental phonemes as this is easier to see the movement to recreate the sounds. 

Jean Aitchison: Connected children's lexical and semantic development into different stages. Stage 1: labelling - Linking words to objects to which they refer, understanding that things can be labelled. Stage 2: packaging - Exploring the labels and to what they can apply. Over/under extension occurs in order to eventually understand the range of a word's meaning. Stage 3: network building - Making connections between words, understanding similarities and opposites in meaning.

Eve Clark: Studied babies


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