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Answers To Questions Regarding Language, Psychology And Definitions

1701 words - 7 pages

Noam Chomsky argues against B.F. Skinner’s view of humans born as a “blank slate;” he states that this behaviorist view too simplistic. Chomsky claims humans have born-with prewired brains that enable us to acquire language easily, called universal grammar. The “critical period” of when a child needs language acquisition begins with infancy till five years old. If not confronted with language, then the child probably cannot ever acquire language. Chomsky believes the human brain contains genetically programmed blueprints or modules for language learning. Partly due to this, diverse languages show more similarities than differences. He also states that speakers of a language generate their sentences from a set of rules; his model/view is called generative grammar. During their critical stage, children need to acquire the main setting of the head parameter (English: head-initial). After this knowledge, the child can then learn the diverse rules about the language. Chomsky argues two separate modes, E-language and I-language, exist in all languages. E-language, also called pragmatics of language, exist as “external” observable words that humans make to communicate, therefore hard to study with all the complicated rules. The I-language, or “internal” set of rules that enable one to communicate in the specific exposed language, differs between each child and generations, therefore can develop new languages around the world.
2. Those with better communication abilities had a significant advantage over those who did not. Language could have helped ensure survival of their current generation such as using vocalizations as a warning sign that an animal was attacking. For hunting, communication would add a level of organization to enhance their efforts through better coordinating different tasks. Through warnings and coordination, language could help ensure their survival. Through an education of skills, such as hunting and the use of fire, these better communication abilities would be passed on to the future generations and help ensure their survival. Eventually, after each generation produced humans more equipped with better advantages of communication, all humans became born with a prewired ability to use grammar (universal grammar). Communication between people could have helped support group cohesion. With the grow of language, it seems too like early humans’ control over the environment grew; altogether language is a powerful tool humans can use to achieve a certain goal or overcome environmental challenges. All of this could lead to, after nonrandom deaths, the survival (because they are more genetically “fit” or equipped to survive) of the whole group and eventually reproduction of these traits into a new modified species with better genes (genes are filtered) that survive (along with a psychological change).
3. Unilineal evolution, a view that societies evolve in a single direction toward complexity, progress, and...

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