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Lecture 4

LING 240 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Linguistic Prescription, Universal Grammar, Vocal Tract


Department
Linguistics
Course Code
LING 240
Professor
Margaret Antonisse
Lecture
4

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Ling240 Lecture 4: Argument for Innate knowledge and Phonology
Descriptivit’s Perspective-Revise the original generalization
Grammar is universal grammar, mental grammar, descriptive grammar and prescriptive
grammar
Argument for Innate Knowledge
The way children learn language → genetically determined specialization for language
How do children become native speakers?
Explicit teaching?
Imitation?
Negative/Positive reinforcement?
Compare to other things
1. Play instrument
2.Times table
3.Whistle
4.Reading
5.Writing
Therefore…
Language learning=natural ability
Just like walking
Children figure out patterns
Construct a mental grammar
Paradox of language acquisition
Universal grammar helps in learning language
What allows a child to acquire a language so easily? Innate knowledge
Where does that ability come from? Genetically via brain structure
1. SVO
2. NVN
3. OVS
Genetic/Innateness Hypothesis
Genetically determined specialization for language
Universal grammar-restrict range of options
Commonalities across languages reflect properties of brain structure
Phonetics vs. Phonology
So far we’ve covered how language develops in children. But now let’s explore the process of
making sounds.
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