Language

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Linguistic theory is ... an innate property of the human mind' (Chomsky, 1975).  Does the evidence favour Chomsky's view?  Language is a form of communication.

**First, what is language, and how does it differ from other forms of communication? There does not exist a universally accepted definition of language, or criteria for its use; this is one of the reasons for the disagreement among scientists about whether apes can use language. Language consists of various aspects which people believe are more or less important, for example, grammar, symbol usage, the ability to represent real-world situations, and the ability to articulate something new (Wallman 1992: 6). Duane Rumbaugh describes language as "an infinitely open system of communication" (Rumbaugh 1977b: xx). Some people say that anything an ape can do is not language; of course, if these are the same people who say that language defines us as humans, and an ape can learn sign language, then they are saying that deaf people who use sign language are not human (Patterson & Linden 1981: 119-120). One famous view of language is Charles Hockett's seven key properties: duality, productivity, arbitrariness, interchangeability, specialization, displacement, and cultural transmission (Linden 1974: 137). I will return to these properties later in the essay

****Chomsky's research and influence on linguistics changed and modernized the discipline. For many years there has been a battle between linguistics as to whether language acquisition is innate or learned. Chomsky argues that language acquisition is an innate structure, or function, of the human brain. Although known that there are structures of the brain that control the interpretation and production of speech, it was not clear as to how humans acquired language ability, both in its interpretive sense and its production. This is where Noam Chomsky made his contribution. There are a few factors that Chomsky has used to support his theory of language...
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