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This means that children’s logic and thinking methods are originally different to adults.
Certainly, the same stages of linguistic acquisition occur for all children (i.e.
holophrastic, two-word, telegraphic), in the same order and at roughly similar ages.
The same applies to the second; /ed/ is a regularised past tense ending.
In the third instance, the child definitely understands the concept of negation, but cannot yet distinguish between the different forms of expressing it (such as ‘do not, don’t’; ‘will not, won’t’; ‘no’; ‘none’ etc) or completely comprehend the complex syntax involved.
Piaget’s Cognitive Theory identifies language as an element of knowledge acquisition.
He believed that “the growth of knowledge is a progressive construction of logically embedded structures replacing one another by a process of inclusion of lower, less powerful logical means into higher and more powerful ones up to adulthood”.
Although the rare cases of feral children who had been deprived of first language in early childhood seems to support the idea of critical period but it is not known for definite if deprivation was the only reason for their language learning difficulties as Sampson (19) points out, “it is not certain if children in cases of extreme deprivation have trouble learning language because they have missed their so-called “critical period” or if it is because of the extreme trauma they have experienced.”Although Chomsky was a very influential and successful nativist, Sampson (199) claims ‘his theories were given a helping hand by external circumstances.’ Further, reasoning the success of these new nativist writers Sampson says “When Chomsky originally spelled out an argument, the reader would assess it and might detect its fallacies; but when recent writers refer to something as having been established back in the 1960s-70s, most readers are likely to take this on trust, for lack of time and energy to check the sources.”Finally, on the subject of ‘nature vs.
nurture’ debate, which so heavily involves Chomsky, it seems impossible to distinguish whether language is only acquired due to environmental exposure or simply due to innate faculties.
Theories suggesting that the human brain has a unique capacity for language which is genetic and exists from before birth include Chomsky and the Language Acquisition Device, Piaget and Cognitive theory and Lenneberg and the Critical Period.
The Language Acquisition Devise (LAD), according to Chomsky, is an inborn mechanism facilitating the learning of language, consisting of neural wirings and brain structures unique to human beings.