How do children acquire grammar.docx

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Department
Family Relations and Human Development
Course
FRHD 2270
Professor
Robyn Pitman
Semester
Fall

Description
How do children acquire grammar? Evidence for Inborn Mechanism 1) Brain regions are known to be involved in language processing; left hemisphere is critical in understand language. Broca’s area: necessary for combining words into meaningful sentences; suggests that we have specialized neural circuits for learning grammar. 2) Only humans learn grammar readily; neural mechanisms unique to humans. Studies with chimpanzees: close in terms of brain structure but not quite the same; tried to teach sign language; chimps can only master a handful of grammatical rules for 2 word speech (not comparable to pre-schoolers level); trouble expressing complicated ideas that humans learn. 3) Children develop linguistic communication with little or no language input; deaf children – no input from parents who do not know how to sign spontaneously produce gestural or sign communication Studies found that deaf children have developed basic communication into a signed language with its own grammar. 4) Critical period for learning language; birth to 12 years (spoken or signed); if not acquired then, they will never master language. Studies of feral or isolated children: may be able to learn few words, but do not understand the use of language; missing early languages experiences; (victor and Jeanie). 5) Grammar is tied to development of vocabulary; both are part of the language system;
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