Saturday, March 07, 2015

How Children Learn Language

I was amazed by this short lecture by Professor Steven Pinker in which he deduces the nature of language acquisition by examining the generative use of grammar in children.

Some of the ideas you will find here are:
  • Children are Hard-Wired with Universal Grammar 
  • Children create sentences unheard from adults 
  • As an example: the way of how children assimilate rules of grammar unconsciously from the moment they begin to speak, by the use of the past tense rule. 
  • Chomsky claimed that children solved the problem of language acquisition by having the general design of language already wired into them in the form of a universal grammar, a spec sheet for what the rules of any language have to look like.
Steven Pinker calls Noam Chomsky 'a pen and paper theoretician', while Chomsky criticises Pinker's 'terrible reasoning'. Pinker is further testing Chomsky's controversial language theory on children.

From the video

The controversy is there! What do you think about?

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