Language Theories

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Theories Of First Language Acquisition English Language Essay
Imagine a blank template, a white sheet of paper, thats how human being starts off. From a crying baby in a cradle, to babbling, to simple single words, slowly progressing into two-words, then finally a complete sentence, ever wonder how one acquires the ability to produce the language? Linguists throughout the ages have tried to find out how does one ACQUIRE a language, is it a deep structure as claimed by Kimball? Or is it an innate ability, a build-in human capacity propagated by Chomsky?
Various theories have arose since language studies came to fore, and the ability to acquire language has interested various parties since the dawn of man. From the dunes of Egypt, Psammeticus, the Pharaoh during the 7 th century BC, believed language was inborn and that children isolated from birth from any linguistic influence would develop the language they had been born with. Fast forward to the 15th century,King James of Scotland performed a similar experiment; the children were reported to have spoken good Hebrew. Akbar, a 16th century Mogul emperor of India, desired to learn whether language was innate or acquired through exposure to the speech of adults. He believed that language was learned by people listening to each other and therefore a child could not develop language alone. So he ordered a house built for two infants and stationed a mute nurse to care for them. The children did not acquire speech, which seemed to prove Akbar's hypothesis that language is acquired and does not simply emerge spontaneously in the absence of exposure to speech.
Henceforth, modern linguists have been trying hard to crack the codes which govern the acquisition and learning of a language. Theories ranging from Jean Piaget's Cognitive Theory(1929), Skinner's Behaviorist Theory (1957), to Chomsky's The Innateness Hypothesis,…...

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