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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 Language acquisition.docx

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Department
Linguistics
Course Code
LIN200H1
Professor
Chandan Narayan

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Lecture 5 Language acquisition 1. Language Acquisition and Innateness  Cross-linguistic uniformity of acquisition o Acquisition is uniform across children and languages, evidenced by Universal Grammar o Similarity of the language acquisition stages across diverse peoples and languages shows that children are equipped with special abilities to acquire language  Poverty of the stimulus o Language is acquired without instruction o Children do not receive enough data to acquire language simply from what they hear  Critical period o The facility for language acquisition is limited to a fixed period, from birth to puberty o Even before puberty, facility with language acquisition deteriorates quickly 2. Developmental Sequences  Universality of infant speech perception (Werker) o First 6 months of life, ability of distinguish phonemes used in any language o By 6 months, continuing to discriminate equivalently distinct ones that their language keeps separate o By 10 months, lose ability of distinguish phonemes used in any language  Babbling o A universal process across all language o Between 5 and 7 months, the sounds begin to sound like consonants and vowels o Between 7 and 8 months, the sounds begin to babble in real syllables, and the sounds are the
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