Language Acquisition Theorists

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Noam Chomsky: LAD
The capacity to acquire language is innate within humans. Human brain is pre-programmed to acquire grammatical structures.
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Noam Chomsky: Nativist Theory
Humans have an inbuilt capacity to acquire language. (For: Children often experience the same stages of development at similar paces and often make their own rules and overgeneralise. Against: Children need a lot of input to use language correctly
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Berko and Brown (1960's): 'Fis' test
Found that a child who referred to a fish as a 'fis',substituting the 's' sound for 'sh', couldn't link the adult's use of 'fis' with the same animal
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Katherine Nelson (1973): First words
Categorised first words into 5 groups: Classes of objects, specific objects, actions/events, modifying things, personal/social. 60% of first words were nouns (objects groups)
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Eve Clark: Overextension's
Found that children overextend the physical qualities of others and features, such as sound, taste, movement, size, textures
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Leslie Rescorla: Overextension's
3 categories: Catagorical overextension, analogical overextension and mismatch statements.
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Jean Aitchison: Labelling
Linking words to objects
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Jean Aitchison: Packaging
Exploring the labels and to what they can apply (over/under-extension happens at this stage)
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Jean Aitchison: Network-building
Making connections between words and understanding similarities and opposites in meanings.
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Piaget: Cognitive theory
Language acquisition is part of a wider development of understanding. Children will only acquire more complex forms when their intellectual development can cope. 'Discovery learning' Learning by doing. Cognitive = Mental processes
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Berko: Wugs
Children overgeneralise. Three quarters of 4-5 year olds surveyed formed the regular plural 'Wugs'
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Michael Halliday: 7 functions of speech
Instrumental, regulatory, interactional, personal, representational, imaginative and heuristic
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John Dore: 8 language functions
Labelling, repeating, answering, requesting, calling, greeting, protesting, practising
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Bruner: LASS
Caregivers support children's linguistic development in social situations through interaction. Adults gradually withdraw support as their children's skills develop. Critical period, before the age of 5/6
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Ursula Bellugi: Three stages of negative formation
1) Uses 'no' or 'not' at the beginning or end of a sentence. 2) Moves 'no' or 'not' inside the sentence. 3) Attaches the negative auxiliary and the copula verb 'be' securely (e.g. 'No, I don't want to go to nursery)
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Vygotsky: Play
Children often use props as pivots to support their play. Children role-play adult behaviours as part of exploring their environment.
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Garvey: Language acquisition
Studied pairs of children. Children adopt roles and identities, act out story lines and invent objects and settings as part of role-play.
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Skinner: Behaviourist theory
Language is acquired through imitation and reinforcement. For: Children do imitate accent and dialect, learn politeness strategies and repeat what they hear around them. Against: Children can produce sentences they've never heard before.
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Card 2

Front

Humans have an inbuilt capacity to acquire language. (For: Children often experience the same stages of development at similar paces and often make their own rules and overgeneralise. Against: Children need a lot of input to use language correctly

Back

Noam Chomsky: Nativist Theory

Card 3

Front

Found that a child who referred to a fish as a 'fis',substituting the 's' sound for 'sh', couldn't link the adult's use of 'fis' with the same animal

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Categorised first words into 5 groups: Classes of objects, specific objects, actions/events, modifying things, personal/social. 60% of first words were nouns (objects groups)

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Found that children overextend the physical qualities of others and features, such as sound, taste, movement, size, textures

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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