Re: We don't "learn" language!

Subject: Re: We don't "learn" language!
From: Ron Miller <RSMH -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 17:35:48 -0500

I hate to dignify this off-topic thread with a response, but I feel I must
clarify some misconceptions.

My wife studied lingusitcs, speech language pathology and audiology. As a
result I have become familiar with speech acquisition theory. One of the most
prominent comes from Noam Chomsky at MIT. According to his theories, we are
all encoded with the ability to speak language; the only wild card is the
language that we actually speak. Since we hear English from our parents, for
example, we speak the language English.

That said, your children do *not* learn language per se. It's more of an
absorption. When as one person stated, she said "mama" or "daddy" to her
children, she was more likely responding to cues she got from her children.
During the babbling stage, children elicit many sounds. When they say a sound
that sounds like a word to adults *we* mimic it back to them.

Only children who kept in a black box or have serious mental abnormalities
fail to learn language. Witness that the poorest child in in the most
underdeveloped countries still speak. They may be living in horrible
conditions with virtually no intellectual stimulation with a crack-addicted
mother, yet they stil acquire language. How could this be if all children did
was listen to your prompts?

Language acquisittion theory discounted the idea of learning language years
ago. Now let's get off this thread and back to tech writing where we belong.

Ron Miller
rsmh -at- aol -dot- com

Previous by Author: Re: Changing our Language
Next by Author: Re: Page Count Estimates
Previous by Thread: Re: We don't "learn" language!
Next by Thread: Re: Talking Birds (was Re: the Queen's English

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads