Evaluate the Arguments, Presented in the Course, Supporting Chomsky’s Claim That Humans Are Innately Predisposed to Acquire Language, Discussing Specifically What It Might Mean for Humans to Be ‘Innately Predisposed to
1356 WordsDec 15, 20116 Pages
Language is our main means of communication and learning, without it we would not understand each other efficiently enough to communicate our needs and thoughts. It is a very complicated feature of human cognition. Yet children acquire language very naturally and quickly without any formal instruction. Many language experts such as Chomsky (1965) and Pinker (2000) believe this suggests that there is some innate predisposal to acquire language, by this it is meant a genetic mechanism that holds what he calls the ‘universal grammar’ common to all languages. Noam Chomsky call’s language ‘the human essence’ (1972). He is a discontinuity theorist, this means he believes the human brain appears to have an ‘inborn’ capacity to learn and obtain…show more content…
Humans who began to learn language would find it easier to survive and then pass on their language to their children and so on. Therefore Darwin’s theory does not support Chomsky’s claim of humans having an innate predisposal to acquire languages as he believed it was something that has evolved and then been developed over time, not something that has always been present in our genetics.
Most animals communicate with one another non-verbally, for example some bee species have very specific and evolved ways of communicating with each other about the location and quality of food (Winston, 1987, p. 25) or the emperor penguin which uses an intricate set of calls that are very vital for individual recognition between parents, offspring, and mates, demonstrating a very wide range of individual calls from all the penguins (Williams 1995, p. 68). As all these forms of communication appear to be very natural to the species they are relevant to, it suggests they are easily developed and learnt through the social context the being is in. Perhaps this means that these forms of communication are innately predisposed to the specific species, which would surely mean language to be innately governed within humans as it’s our way of communication. However one cannot really compare the communications of animals to humans as the humans have a much greater mental capacity than that of any other species. Although other species can communicate, the
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