Vinsamlegast notið þetta auðkenni þegar þið vitnið til verksins eða tengið í það: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/29919
The purpose of this essay is to evaluate and assess the established theories behind innateness in first language acquisition. It sets out to explore the basic theories behind Noam Chomsky’s Innateness Hypothesis. This includes an overview of the Language Acquisition Device and its relationship to Universal Grammar. The argument for the theory of Poverty of Stimulus, and an overview of the arguments for the likelihood of an existence of a critical period of language acquisition. The paper primarily focuses on how these established theories support Chomsky’s views that language is an innate structure that children are born with. Furthermore, the essay sets out to evaluate a more recent book by Noam Chomsky and Robert Berwick on the history of language and its initial emergence, as well as its relationship with how human speech has changed over time. Then finally, I give an overview of Charles Yang’s work on computational research based on the formation of productive rules on grammar within first language acquisition. The initial premise of the essay is to evaluate a selection of theories proposed by established linguists that there is an innate structure in human beings that determines how we acquire language the way that we do. The majority of research on this topic seems to agree with nativist theories, although the actual evidence to support these claims is to a certain degree still inadequate. The exception will be the findings by Charles Yang; where others have failed, he has managed to argue persuasively for a computational formula that gives an adequate explanation of how grammar rules are acquired. However, the findings are not indisputable and albeit there is a likelihood of the existence of innate language properties in human beings, the developments at this stage are still in need of much further research.
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