Learning to Speak
- 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