Innateness of Children’s Language Acquisition

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The subtlety of language acquisition has been the most fundamental question in the study of linguistics and human development. From Bow-wow Theory to Yo-He-Ho Theory, major theories on the origins and learnability of language have emerged in mid-20th century and heavily debated ever since. Among them, the idea of universal grammar in which is usually credited to linguist Noam Chomsky, remains the most notable and controversial theory over time. He introduced and developed the theory from 1950s to 1970s, as he proposed and championed linguistic nativism in language acquisition. Chomsky supports that language mastery involves knowledge of linguistic rules and conventions, which he later named that as ‘cognizance’. He believes that cognizance…show more content…
“Subtle measures of surprise (e.g., duration of looking toward the new sounds) are then used to assess whether the infant perceives the new sample as more of the same, or something different. In this fashion, we can ask what the infant extracted from the artificial language, which can lead to insights regarding the learning mechanisms underlying the earliest stages of language acquisition.”, according to Saffran. During this infant period, the discovered elements in sounds and gestures in language are beyond children’s understanding if only just based on intelligence. They have shown early inborn and involuntary assemblage of words and sounds, combining them into meanings without previous acknowledgements. They simultaneously crack the linguistic codes and rules surround them, integrating their capacities in learning process. Children have revealed excellent ability in solving linguistic puzzles, always surpassing other animal species in the mastery of communication in which, highly champions the theory of innateness in human language acquisition.
Focusing on the later stages of language developments ,Chomsky suggested that children use language rules and generalisations from the very moment they begin to speak; there are numerous examples drawn from the observations in which children acquires language intuitively without any pre-existing knowledge. Psychologist and
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