Gender Speech Community

Topics: Linguistics, Noam Chomsky, Language acquisition Pages: 5 (1630 words) Published: January 18, 2013
The Human Language
November 22, 2012

This research paper will focus on the human language. Human language is extremely significant for all peoples. My main topic for this paper is how we use and develop language, the production of language, language acquisition and the importance of the critical period. Chomsky, Skinner, and Whorf all had various theories on language but all had one major thing in common, which was the significance of language. Regardless of when or how language is developed; it is essential to have living in environment where every one using language to talk, learn and receive knowledge.

The Ways in Which People Use and Develop Language and
The Effects it May Have on a Person
If a person does not develop oral language this will affect the way in which people communicate with other people. From birth throughout their lives time people are taught the uses of language and create a way of communication. Language is the main component for all humans. “The use of language-the communication of information through symbols arranged according to systematic rules-is a central cognitive ability, one that is indispensable for us to communicate with one another” (Stapel & Semin, 2007; Hoff; 2008; Resiberg). Language is essential to how we communicate, think, and understand the world. Without language our ability to convey information, obtain knowledge and cooperate with others would be hindered. This paper looks at Chomsky, Benjamin Lee Whorf and B.J. Skinners theories on language acquisition and why language it is so important to have and what could happen to a person if he/she were isolated from society.

In order to comprehend how language is created and relates to thought, we first need to know that the basic structure of language is grammar. Grammar is a set of rules that clarifies how our thoughts can be articulated. There are three main elements that go with grammar; they are phonology, syntax, and semantics. Phonology is the study of the smallest unit of speech called phonemes. Phonemes are the way we use sounds to form words and produce meaning. Syntax deals with how words and phrases can be united to form sentences and semantic rules allow us to express meanings to words. Feldman, Robert S. (2011). Although many people may have a hard time explaining the meanings of these words, we all subconsciously use grammar every day in a linguistic way!

Language starts during infancy from three months through one-year- old. Children begin to make insignificant speech like sounds that is called babble. In the textbook Feldman, Robert S. (2011) stated that while babbling, they produce, at one time or another, any of the sounds found in all languages, not just the one to which are exposed. Even deaf children demonstrate their own form of babbling, who are incapable to hear, yet who are exposed to sign language from birth babble in their own way. In the same textbook I stated before Feldman, Robert S. (2011); indicates that babies’ babbling imitates the precise language being spoken in the infant’s environment which focuses more on the pitch and tone of the person talking to the child. As the baby gets older, he or she starts to specialize in the language that they were exposed to from birth.

To support what I am saying I read an article called Language and Brain Development “Jump Start” copyright United Feature Syndicate stated that “a child is introduced to language virtually at the moment of birth. Children do not require explicit language instruction, but they do need exposure to language in order to develop normally. Children who do not receive linguistic input during their formative years do not achieve native like grammatical competence.”

There were three theorists that had their own speculation on language acquisition but intertwined with my thesis. Let us begin with...

References: Feldman, Robert S. (2011). Essentials of Understanding Psychology
“Jump Start” copyright . United Feature Syndicate. Reprinted with permission. Introduction Brain and Language
Aitchinson, Jean (1976). The Articulate Mammal: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics. London: Hutchinson & Co.
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