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L1 Aquisition According to Brown

  • Date Submitted: 06/26/2011 05:45 AM
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FIRST LANGUAGE ACQUISITION - BROWN

I. THEORIES OF FIRST LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

BEHAVIOURISM

    • B.F. Skinner
    • language is a fundamental part of total human behaviour
    • language is a set of habits that can be acquired by a process of conditioning
    • focus on the immediately perceptible aspects of linguistic behaviour (the publicly observable responses) and the relationships between these responses
    • according to behaviourism, the effective language behaviour is the production of correct responses to stimuli
    • if a response is reinforced, it then become habitual or conditioned

NATIVISM (nativist approach)
    • N. Chomsky
    • the term “nativist” is derived from the belief that language acquisition is innately determined – that a child is born with an innate knowledge of or predisposition toward language and that this innate property (the LAD) is universal in all human beings
    • Language Acquisition Device (LAD) – consists of 4 features:
        o the ability to distinguish speech sounds from other sounds in the environment
        o the ability to organize linguistic data into various classes that can later be refined [udoskonalić]
        o knowledge that only a certain kind of linguistic system is possible and that other kinds are not
        o the ability to engage in constant evaluation of the developing linguistic system so as to construct the simplest possible system out of the available linguistic input

UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR (UG)
    • researchers expanded the LAD notion into a system of universal linguistic rules that went well beyond what was originally proposed for the LAD
    • attempts to discover what it is that all children, regardless of their environmental stimuli (the language[s] they hear around them) bring to the language acquisition process
    • such studies have looked at various grammatical phenomena, e.g.:
        o question formation
        o negation
        o word...

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