Does a Language Instinct Exist? The Language Instinct Debate.
GRIN Verlag, 2007 - 76 pages
Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 1.0, University of Duisburg-Essen (Department of English Linguistics), course: Developments in modern Linguistics, 14 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: In 1994, when Steven Pinker's book "The language instinct" was published, the linguistic world was confronted with the renewed debate, whether language comes from innate ideas or is just the result of experiencing and learning. This important debate which concerns linguistics until today will be the topic of the following work. The important question is, if a language instinct really exists and which evidence one can provide to assume that our language ability is inherited. Until today, there is great discussion and speculation about innate language ideas and the most important proponent for them nowadays is Steven Pinker. To set his nativist ideas in an appropriate context, it is necessary to explain where the ideas of "nativism" and the opposite linguistic school "empiricism" come from and what characteristics they show. This constructs a context and prepares a base for the focus on Pinker's book. The most important founder of today's nativist thoughts is certainly Noam Chomsky, whose ideas were the basis for Pinker's assumption of a language instinct. For this reason, I will present a short summary of Chomsky's ideas as the last aspect of the first chapter. Pinker's arguments put forward in his work "The language instinct" will form the main part and second chapter of my work. I will present his definition of a language instinct and his given evidence for its existence. Because of the complexity of the pieces of evidence put forward in his whole work, I will pick up two of his most important aspects for innate language ideas: Pidgin and creoles and the case of the KE-Family. Afterwards, I will focus on two of his critics, Geoffrey Samspon and Stefan Schaden, because they composed bo
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According to Pinker accuses Pinker acquire language aspect assume assumption basic Bickerton biological book The language brain capacity of language child Chomsky’s cognitive capacities cognitive science complex language concerning context counter arguments creole languages creole speakers criticism cultural empiricism empiricist environment experience family members FOXP2 genetic Geoffrey Sampson grammar features grammar gene grammar structures guage hearer ideas of Chomsky impaired inherited grammar innate language instinct instinct really exists intelligence investigated John Locke KE-Family members language acquisition language disorder language input language organ linguistic world mentalist mind Myrna Gopnik Noam Chomsky parents pidgin language pidgins and creoles Pinker adds Pinker refers Pinker’s argumentation Pinker’s book Pinker’s definition Pinker’s theory pragmatic present psycholinguistics regarded René Descartes responsible Russenorsk Schaden focuses semiotic sentence SLI patients specific language speech speech perception Stefan Schaden Steinberg/Nagata/Aline Steven Pinker stresses studies syntactic structures tion today’s underlying Universal Grammar verb