An Assignment on the Linguistic Acquisition Device

An Assignment on the Linguistic Acquisition Device

In linguistics, language acquisition is the process through which human beings obtain the capability to comprehend and perceive language as well as produce sentences and words and utilize them to communicate.

According to Chomsky, his Linguistic Acquisition Device (LAD) encompassed a device that children were born that could be defined as the inborn ability to comprehend the language principles. This LAD fits his innateness Hypothesis of language acquisition because he believed that once a child was exposed to language, the LAD would enable him or her to learn language in an outstanding pace as also elucidated under his critical period hypothesis Question Two

According to Noam Chomsky’s critical period hypothesis, human speech encompassed a genetically programmed ability that had a critical age threshold.

This is because like a variety of other human behaviors, an individual’s ability to acquire language is based on critical periods that are defined as the limited time span during which the individual is sensitive to the language acquisition external stimuli that enables him or her to acquire language. Once this time is surpassed the individual has minimum chances of acquiring language. This critical period in language acquisition was adolescence to Chomsky. Question Three

Genie was discovered in Los Angeles on November 4, 1970. She was discovered by a social worker in Temple City, California when she accompanied her mother as she sought for disability benefits due to near blindness. The social worker had initially sensed that something was wrong with Genie and she got so shocked when she greeted them and discovered that Genie was actually 13 years old though the social worker had estimated that she was autistic and half that age.

The social worker contacted her supervisor, who after questioning Genie’s mother contacted the police. Genie’s parents were later arrested and she was made the ward of the court and later transferred to the Children’s Hospital Lost Angeles. She was unable to acquire a language within a critical period due to the severe child abuse she went through under the hands of her father. Question Four

The symptoms she displayed of this failure after she was discovered were here severe undersize regardless of her advanced age of 13 years. She had no understanding of grammar she could only comprehend 15-20 words. Two short phrases were what consisted of her active vocabulary and hence she had complete lack of speech, not because she was selectively mute but because she lacked any type of language. Though she had considerable memories of her past she lacked a way to communicate them. Question Five

The forbidden experiment was the language deprivation experiment under which infants were isolated from any normal utilization of signed or spoken language as an attempt to discover the origin or language or human nature’s fundamental characteristics. Viktor became a model of this experiment because before his discovery he had lived in a forest like a wild animal and had been unable to understand or speak any language. After being placed under the care of Dr Jean Marc Gaspard Itard, he acquired the language rudiments and became socialized. Question Six

She began to use the two-word phrases when she started to understand about 200 vocabulary words. Her speech began to improve after settling in her ne surrounding though it continued to exhibit latency. With time she started using negative forms with not rather than the prefix un. By October 1973 she could easily comprehend complex negation forms.

By October 1971 she could listen to people talking and even contribute to the conversations. By November f the same year her speech and grammar could be equated to that of an 18 or 20 month old baby. By 1972 she could use complex noun phrases and regular plurals as well as understand interrogative words. By 1973 she was using determiners, definite articles, possessives and imperative sentences. She however did not acquire automatic speech. Question Seven

The ethical implications of the language deprivation experiment are that it encompassed an inhuman experiment that would deprive the infants of their language acquisition abilities. Regardless of this Viktor benefited from this experiment because he was later able to acquire language rudiments and be socialized.

The ethical implications of the experiments on Genie were linked to the fact that they subjected her to additional child abuse rather than help her because the researchers were more focused on the results of their results rather than hoe the research could benefit Jeanie. To some extent Jeanie benefited from the experiments because her language abilities improved but the researchers used her to acquire fame.

Works Cited:
Linda, Garmon, dir. The Secret of the Wild Child. IMDBPro, 1994. Film.

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