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Theorists

Topics: Linguistics, Word, Language acquisition, Noam Chomsky, Verb / Pages: 2 (551 words) / Published: Apr 11th, 2015
Bruner suggested a theory that was the Language Acquisition Support System (LASS), this means that children had to have their language supported and scaffolded by those around them in order for them to develop their language. A working example of this would be when children overgeneralise words, for example they would call a ‘swan’ a ‘duck’ just because they look similar. Therefore in order for a child to develop their language, caregivers would help them by telling them the correct words to use.
Chomsky suggested the Language Acquisition Device (LAD), this means that children have an innate capacity to learn, although this has to be triggered in order for them to be able to use it. An example of this would be when children apply tense to words that don’t have the bound morpheme ‘ed’ at the end. For example when a child would say ‘I flied’ rather than ‘I flew’, this is an example because it clear that they understand the rule of regular verbs and the bound morpheme ‘ed’ yet they don’t understand to only apply it to regular verbs.
Skinner is a behaviourist that suggested that children need to be scaffolded throughout their entire language development, this is because they learn through imitating those around them. For example when children say ‘mum’ or ‘dad’ as their first words because their parents have continually said them for their entire lives, therefore they would imitate them in order to say it back and therefore creating a wider range of language.
Jean Berko-Gleeson suggested a theory that children need to be in a routine intentionality to help with their development, this meant that children associate one thing with another. An example of this routine would be when you show a child a towel and they know that they are then going to have a bath. This shows that interaction with other people is crucial to language development.
Katherine Nelson shows that children’s first words fit into four categories, these are Naming (noun), Action (verb), Social and Modifying (adverb, adjective). She claimed that 60% of children’s first 50 words fit into the naming category, this is due to caregivers constantly wanting children to name things. For example when caregivers ask children if they want things, such as ‘milk’, they pronounce milk so prominently that children remember the term and therefore begin to remember it and ask for it.
Eve Clark suggested a ‘before and after’ theory. This meant that children only understand what sentences mean if they are worded in a particular order, for example they would understand something chronologically ordered, but as soon as it was changed they went blank and could not cope. For example a child would understand ‘we went to the shop and then the park’ but they would not understand ‘we went to the park after we went to the shop’.
Roger Brown suggested that children make virtuous errors, this means that children know the linguistic definitions and rules, yet they can’t be correctly applied. Therefore a child might say ‘runned’ instead of ‘ran’ this is because they innately know to add the bound morpheme ‘ed’ although they are unaware of the rule of which word it gets applied to. This theory shows that interaction with others helps to protect children from continually making these mistakes.

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