Language Acquisition

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Language Acquisition in Children

Language is considered the most important aspect in the life of all beings. It is a form of communication; whether spoken; written or signed that is based on a system of symbols. It is any form of expression; dance, music, painting or signs and is the basic form of speech which makes man different from other animals. We use language to express inner thoughts and emotions, make sense of complex and abstract thought, to learn to communicate with others, to fulfill our wants and needs, as well as to establish rules and maintain our culture. Children are not formally taught their first language but almost every human child succeeds in learning language. As a result, people often tend to take the process of language learning for granted. Language is not simple at all; in fact it is the most complex skill that a human being will ever try to master. Many developmental psychologists and linguists offer theories to account for children’s rapid acquisition of language, but it is not yet completely understood because the process of acquiring a language occurs so quickly and with so many distinctions that it is difficult to comprehend. Many different aspects of language and language development need to be explained before one theory could be universally accepted. Linguists in the tradition of Noam Chomsky tend to think of language as having a universal core from which individual languages select out a particular formation of features, constraints, and settings. As a result, they see language as an instinct that is driven by specifically human evolutionary adaptations. In their view, language resides in a unique mental organ that has been given as a "special gift" to the human species. This mental organ contains rules, constraints, and other structures that can be specified by linguistic analysis.

Psychologists and those linguists who reject the Chomsky’s approach often view language learning from a very different perspective. To the...
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