Language Acquisition 1

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Believe humans have an innate ability to acquire language
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Who supports the nativist theory?
Chomsky, Lenneberg, Pinker
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Language is acquired through imitation and reinforcement
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Who supports this theory?
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Social interactionist
Child language is developed through interaction with adults
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Who supports this theory?
Bruner, Vygotsky
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Language acquisition is part of a wider development of understanding that develops
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Who supports this theory?
Vygotsky, Piaget
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Chomsky's theory
LAD (Language Acquisition Device), overgeneralisation and virtuous errors, children experience the same stages of development and at the same pace, resist correction
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What study/test supports this theory?
'Wug' test
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What study/test contradicts this theory?
Genie and Victor
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Lenneberg's theory
Critical Period Hypothesis; supported by Genie case
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Pinker's theory
Language is a distinct piece of biological makeup of our brains, develops in children spontaneously, language is an instinct
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Skinner's theory
Children learn through imitation and repetition, learn politeness and pragmatic aspects of language, reinforcement and correction: lexical knowledge must be gained from being told the right labels
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What are the limitations of this theory?
Children can form sentences before they've even heard one, don't always respond to correction, they imitate but don't understand, experimented on rats and birds
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What study/test does not support this theory?
'fis' phenomenon
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Bruner's theory
LASS (Language Acquisition Support System), children need social intervention to learn pragmatic and politeness awareness and turn taking in social role play
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What study supports this?
Vincent - a hearing child born to deaf parents who communicated through sign language until he went to school, where people spoke to him. Genie and Victor
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What are the limitations of this theory?
Children from cultures that do not promote interaction with children can still become articulate
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Vygotsky's theory
Zone of Proximal Development - children can develop language independently to a certain extent
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Piaget's theory
Development precedes learning, children will learn to speak 'naturally' with little intervention, they learn when they are physically and mentally ready, produce utterances which increase in complexity as they work towards mastering a rule
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What study supports this?
'Fis' phenomenon
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Age: 0 Features: sounds of discomfort Example: crying
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Age: 0-4 months Features: sounds of discomfort or reflexive actions Examples: crying, coughing, burping, sucking
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Age: 4-7 months Features: comfort sounds and vocal play Examples: Grunts and sighs become vowel-like 'coos', laughter, hard consonants and vowels produced, pitch (squeals and growls) and loudness (yells) practised
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Age: 6-12 months Features: extended sounds resembling syllable-like sounds and repeated patterns Examples: Reduplicated = 'baba' Non-reduplicated/Variegated = 'agu'
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Age: 9-12 months Features: word-like vocalisations, learn nouns first Example: 'cat'
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What are Crystal's stages?
Holophrastic, Two-word, Telegraphic, Post-Telegraphic
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Age: 12-18 months Descriptors: one word utterance conveying a whole sentence/meaning
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Age: 18-24 months Descriptors: two words combined to create simple syntactical structures Grammatical construnctions: Subject+Verb, Verb+Object
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Age: 24-36 months Descriptors: Three or more words joined in increasingly complex and accurate orders, still miss out prepositions and determiners Grammatical Constructions: Subject+Verb+Object/Complement/Adverbial
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Age: 36+ months Descriptors: Increasing awareness of grammatical rules and irregularities Grammatical Constructions: Instead of saying 'runned' they say 'ran'
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Who supports the nativist theory?


Chomsky, Lenneberg, Pinker

Card 3




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Card 4


Who supports this theory?


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Card 5


Social interactionist


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