Dinesh Ramoo

Key Takeaways

  • Language acquisition has been studied extensively, but there are many mysteries to this subject.
  • The two main sides of the language acquisition debate are the rationalists and the empiricists.
  • The rationalists claim language has (at least to some extent) some innate structures independent of experience
  • The empiricists claim that language is acquired from exposure to linguistic input from the environment
  • Chomsky introduced the idea that children do not receive enough input and samples of a language to learn linguistic rules by mere exposure (the poverty of the stimulus)
  • The concept of innate structures (either a language acquisition device or universal grammar) is supported by the development of creoles as complete languages from children’s exposure to pidgin


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