Vinsamlegast notið þetta auðkenni þegar þið vitnið til verksins eða tengið í það: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/20344
This essay assesses the importance of the innateness hypothesis during the process of first language acquisition. The innateness hypothesis is the hypothesis, presented by Noam Chomsky, that children are born with knowledge of the fundamental principles of grammar. Chomsky asserts with his theory that this inborn knowledge helps children to acquire their native language effortlessly and systematically despite the complexity of the process. Acquiring language is likely the single most difficult process of a child’s maturation period. Yet children do not seem to know how much knowledge they are acquiring and processing. In this essay, this process is analyzed in the context of Chomsky’s theories of universal and generative grammar and the language faculty. The process of first language acquisition is surveyed from the very first weeks of a child’s life up until the time that grammar is finalized.
It is widely debated how children master knowledge of their native language. Criticism of Chomsky’s theory is discussed as well as Piaget’s constructivist and Skinner’s behaviorist theories of language acquisition. Finally, the critical period is discussed and compared to cases of abnormal language acquisition. It turns out that the innateness hypothesis, although still not accepted as fact, has stayed resilient and this thesis argues that it remains the strongest hypothesis to describe the way children acquire language.
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