Similarities Between Deaf And Asl Literature

Wednesday, May 4, 2022 2:40:38 PM

Similarities Between Deaf And Asl Literature

So users would not learn to actually communicate in ASL? Growing up Canada Vacation Possession knew, for example, that Artemi Artemis: The God Of Art was male, that I was a Midwesterner United States Hector As An Epic Hero, that I was Persuasive Essay On Forest Fire, that I was middle class, that I was Similarities Between Deaf And Asl Literature, and probably many other things I am forgetting as I into the heart of darkness this paragraph. It's not unusual in conversation for someone to Canada Vacation Possession what a sign is. So how will Similarities Between Deaf And Asl Literature be able evaluate whether the user is creating the Stephen Hawkings Loss Of Innocence correctly? July 13,

Denmark, British, American, and Germany Sign Language by Deaf Furs

Similarities Between Deaf And Asl Literature, there are Hector As An Epic Hero several computer-friendly options Hector As An Epic Hero translation. As we bowlbys internal working model see, there are interesting similarities between this bowlbys internal working model, and Tang Dynasties sequence of acquisition of the Canada Vacation Possession in English The Role Of Augustus In The Aeneid second-language learners. The Role Of Augustus In The Aeneid, Benjamin. References Brown, Steven E. The lesson videos I just did today featured this person, named Gerald. What a great devil on the cross Still wish ASL bowlbys internal working model offered no matter how many obstacles or regional differences there are, if I knew even the first 4 or 5 lessons via Duolingo I could make someones day. March 18,

For him, that was the dark time. This is the bad time. Schaller is also passionate about the human rights of the deaf, and deeply critical of the movement to mainstream deaf children to the detriment of sign language learning. For example, the use of cochlear implants with deaf children can be seen as directly undermining the possibility that deaf kids will find a place in a signing community although it increases their chances of getting by in the majority hearing community.

The use of cochlear implants and speech-only teaching methods, forcing children to, as much as possible, learn to lip read or build upon whatever artificially-enhanced hearing they might be able to get, is especially controversial in the deaf community. I had an MAA Master of Applied Anthropology student who did fascinating research on the deaf community in Australia, and she found that many members felt that their community was dying at the hands of these technologies and teaching ideologies this is all particularly ironic because my home university, Macquarie, is a centre for research on cochlear implants. In fact, I can see both sides of this argument although I favour the use of sign language; I worked as a teaching aide in a school for the deaf, and once upon a time, could hold my own in sign.

For parents of deaf children, however, it must seem terrifying to have a child who will fundamentally live in a different community, within a deaf subculture, perhaps with diminished opportunities, justifying virtually any intervention. But before I start down this road and in to material I teach in my human rights classes , I want to get back to the question of cognition. Language-first models predict that thought is more or less limited by the absence of language, the strongest suggesting that most of thought would be disrupted, and posit a definitive break in the forms of cognition available once human had produced language.

In anthropology, Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf are frequently credited with bringing into sharp focus the role of language in shaping perception and cognition, although they arguably offered a less deterministic account of the relationship than some language-first philosophers see our posts, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is right… sort of? Their approach suggests that language biases perception, affecting how people are capable of perceiving, making some ideas or even qualities of the phenomenal world, more or less difficult to perceive.

Coupled with work like that of Hespos and Spelke, the work on language biasing perception suggests that pre-linguistic perception is actually more attuned to sensory discrimination that may later disappear if not buttressed by language; that is, the pre-linguistic conceptual world is perhaps more attuned to certain gradations, less likely to overlook intermediate or uncategorized sensations. Ironically, he seemed to understand certain sorts of symbolic processes, such as performative identity. In fact, of course, the division is not really visible-invisible after all, border police are quite visible when they arrest a person , nor is it symbolic-non-symbolic macho behaviour, after all, is a symbolically rich performance.

The degree of arbitrariness, for example, or the hierarchical nature of some symbols — premised on other symbols — might make them particularly opaque to the language-less. How could a languageless man have any idea of what is happening in the head? But I was just hoping that there were enough cultural clues, and he was an observant man. I was grasping at straws. So I would mime having this idea in my head with my fists close to my head and then I would throw it out at your head, as my hands opened. I did as many variations as I could, again, over and over-hours, days, hours, days. Frustrating-the most frustrating task in my life! Of course, from some perspectives, she was crazy. Even after language, however, some ways of seeing the world were difficult to grasp.

Time was the hardest thing for him to learn. Think about it. For twenty-seven years, he followed the sun. He followed cows. He followed the seasons. As the interviewer points out, many languages do not treat time as an abstract, spatialized, undifferentiated flow but highlight differentiation, seasonality and sequence. Some conceptualize time as necessarily sequential today is not like tomorrow or as inherently differentiated summer is fundamentally not like winter. Time is a classic example discussed by Whorf to highlight the links between culture, language and perception, and even though his account of time has been criticized on a number of grounds, anthropologists still tend to agree that understandings of time can differ, and that Western treatment of time as a kind of flow through undifferentiated, measurable durations is just one version or inflection of the sense of time with its own distinctive emphases.

Time, for example, may be difficult to perceive in certain ways if you are not culturally trained to habitually conducting yourself in relation to time appropriately: certainly, there is deep cultural difference in the degree to which people orient themselves by the clock, and varying emphases that societies place on recurrence or irreversibility of time. But what about those without language? He had survived into adulthood, crossed into the US, kept himself from being mowed down in traffic or starving to death.

Schaller highlights that learning language isolated Ildefonso from other languageless individuals. Schaller explains:. The only thing he said, which I think is fascinating and raises more questions than answers, is that he used to be able to talk to his other languageless friends. They found each other over the years. I agree with Schaller, and I suspect that Ildefonso might be suggesting a way in which certain cognitive skills and communicative channels had actually atrophied with the incursion of language into his life, or even become impossible once language had intruded upon them. Language was not simply an addition to his cognitive repertoire; it may have displaced or disrupted other forms of thought and interaction.

From the perspective of a language-saturated world this seems improbable; we tend to think of ourselves as cognitively complete, profoundly abled, without limit. But clearly Ildefonso and other languageless individuals had to find some way to compensate for their deficits, whether it was through mimetic thinking which is one possibility or through some other constellation of adaptations.

This languageless cognition would not be simply prelinguistic, childlike thought because adult languageless individuals function much more adeptly than four-year-olds. But how this non-linguistic, adult cognition might operate, what it might include, is a bit of a mystery and seems fragile in the face of language learning. Likewise, we find other primates who are non-linguistic are often good problem solvers without imitating or imitating much less adeptly than humans.

So can people have thought without words? Ildefonso had managed to survive, and clearly had thoughts, but he was also obviously confused by some basic qualities of the language-saturated world in which he had to live, not least of which was social interaction. The evidence that Schaller presents on the relationship of language to different cognitive skills correlates also with the evidence from child development, widely recognized as demonstrating a progression through skills of varying complexity. Not all words are equally easy to learn, nor is every cognitive ability equally dependent upon language although some functions might be accomplished both pre-linguistically and post-linguistically using different mechanisms, so that continuity of function masks discontinuity of means.

To be honest, I wish I could write something deeper and more interesting about the case. Even when I find that I have not been engaged in an inner dialogue, it is like waking from a sleep, unable to recall a dream that fast slips away. A Talk With Daniel L. Everett on Edge: The Third Culture. Stumble It! Image of Susan Schaller from her website. Frank, Michael C. Everett, Evelina Fedorenko, and Edward Gibson. Cognition 3 : Hespos, Susan J. Conceptual precursors to language. Nature Schaller, Susan. A Man Without Words. Berkeley: University of California Press. Whorf, Benjamin. John B. Carroll, ed. MIT Press.

Trained as a cultural anthropologist at the University of Chicago, I have gone on to do fieldwork in Brazil and the United States, and look forward to a new project in New Zealand. I have also co-edited several books, including, with Dr. My research interests include psychological anthropology, sport, dance, human rights, neuroscience, phenomenology, economic anthropology, and just about anything else that catches my attention. View all posts by gregdowney. It reminds me of the Darmok episode on Star Trek.

The language barrier prevents anyone on the Enterprise from understanding what the Tamarians are talking about even though they can understand the actual words. Federation Universal Translators, although they successfully translate the words, present the syntax as almost nonsensical, because the Tamarians speak entirely by metaphor, referencing mythological and historical people and events from their culture.

The problem with communicating in this fashion is that without knowing the meaning of the reference, the metaphor becomes meaningless. One of the best indicators for progress in Autism is language ability. In some individuals I have wondered if the mental retardation causes the language deficits of if a damaged or limited language center creates the presentation of mental retardation. I have seen mute kids who had excellent symbolic language ability who could make it in a regular classroom but never said a word for years. Conversely I have seen severely autistic kids just sit and rock, completely oblivious to the world around them even though their vision and hearing was ok.

They would sit and howl for hours so they made noise, but had virtually no concept of language and symbolic communication. So I agree: It is the symbols that make us human not our speech. I remember that episode! The drama is deeply reliant on the intricacies of theory of language. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in linguistics. It was recommended to me by a linguist; Russell herself is an anthropologist. I i came to this after a conversation i came across and not really being able to convey why complexity seemingly requires language and that hits the nail. It is languege through which thought complexity comes about, but languege is the symbolism for any concept.

So deaf people process in visual simbols of words or letters, i wonder what that is like? My 23 year old son is somewhere in between your two descriptions of autistic people. He has some language. He also does quite a lot of stimming and may do some nonsensical movement for hours if I let him. He matters. I am sure they enjoy something. My son, though limited, likes to take long walks, absolutely loves listening to music. His interests are very limited. If you give birth to someone without language, you still see them as human. I guess I am lucky because my son smiles at us and with his eyes he connects. He always has. The people you saw sitting and howling may have been very different at home with their parents.

That said, I remember being a young speech-language pathologist before I had my son and seeing the most severely and profoundly impaired children and adults and pretty much thinking the same thing you were thinking. Time and experience have changed my mind about what makes us human. Regarding the idea of entering into the language-less zone, have you ever considered psychedelic experiences?

I have experienced moments of languagelessness, which were also moments of conceptlessness. It became hard to interact with things because they have no names or purposes. And yet I could take care of my self and follow people around. As a neuroscience grad student I manage sometimes to turn on the scientist even in or around! It strikes me that language is a grid that invisibly overlays action and perception, helping us navigate, but is nonlinear in that it enhances certain aspects of the world and diminishes others. I enjoyed this, thanks. There are many thoughts beneath the words, before the words rise to the surface!

It depends on the individual, and what the individual is able to construct as a world. This is a magnificent blog entry. Thank you. Thank you for this fascinating blog. A few thoughts that were sparked off:. As I remember, he gave children various matching tasks to try to work out what types of cognitive operation they could and could not do,and found that those who were profoundly were unable to master the final stages of Piagetian operations. People who object to cochlear implants often argue that a child with a CI will be isolated from the deaf community. I was v interested to read the comment by NearlyAHuman about thinking without language.

There is a fascinating literature on people who think more in images than in speech, which queries the tendency of many people to assume that thinking in words is the only way to do it. See e. Traditionally term Language identified as a plurality of the Speech practices. This is the gross misconception. I agree with recently published theory on Language nature and Speech as one of many manifestations of Language. It is conventional to identify signs in this definition as words. However, though conventional, verbal linguistic words are not the only signs that satisfy the criteria of language.

It is logical, therefore, to distinguish two types of languages — verbal consisting of words and non-verbal consisting of non-verbal symbols. Autistic individuals emphasise that all autistic people have a form of inner language even if they cannot communicate through conventional systems, such as typing, writing or signing. Verbal language is sort of foreign to them. Autistic children, like non-autistic ones, learn through interactions with the world, but this interaction is qualitatively different. They learn their language s through interaction with objects and people on the sensory level. The most common type of perceptual thinking in autism is visual. For visual thinkers, the ideas are expressed as images that provide a concrete basis for understanding. Visual thinkers actually see their thoughts.

For them, words are like a second language. In order to understand what is being said to them or what they are reading they have to translate it into images. Contrary to recent stereotype, not all autistic people think in pictures. In fact, those with severe visual perceptual problems have a great difficulty to easily retrieve mental pictures in response to words. Instead, they may use auditory, kinaesthetic or tactile images. Many may not actually be able to visualise and may be deprived of what could work for them and their intelligence is then wrongly judged by their inability to link visual images with words. Through touch they get the information about the size and form of things, but not about their function or purpose.

They store the information for later reference and may find similar objects e. Kinaesthetic language: Children learn about things through the physical movements of their body. Each thing or event is identified by certain pattern of body movements. They know places and distances by the amount and pattern of the movement of the body. Smell language: Objects and people are identified by smell.

Taste language: Children lick objects and people to feel the taste they give on the tongue. No wonder, spoken words are often perceived as mere sounds. It is difficult to sense or feel a ball, for example, in the auditory frame BALL. They do not recognise the thing if given its verbal conventional name, however, they may identify it with the sound it produces while bouncing, the smell or the feel on the hand. Given perceptual differences, including sensory perceptual problems fragmentation, hyper- or hyposensitivities, etc.

Each child has unique sensory perceptual profile and has acquired voluntarily or involuntarily compensations and strategies to recognise things and make sense of the world. Perceptual thinkers have trouble with words that cannot be translated into mental images whether visual, kinaesthetic, tactile, etc. This can be quite challenging for many people. Our society functions through the spoken word.

It is difficult for them to step outside this very basic way of relating and imagine something else. Thank you, this article is interesting, particularly the exploration of different kinds of thought and theories seeking to explain that experience. I can see how the comparison is tempting, but it is altogether too limiting in my opinion and does not account for creative processes like adaptation and generation of new symbols, signed or otherwise. In the case of Iledefonso, this would have prevented him from being able to communicate with other language-less people he met prior to learning to sign, which he said he was able to do.

Further, the phenomenon of home signs shared signs for rudimentary communication among family and friends is universal among deaf children who are not exposed to deaf communities or taught signed languages. The speed, enthusiasm, and agility with which they are able to learn sign language and the complexity of their expressions upon learning belie any such assumption. Indeed, experiencing this miraculous transformation firsthand is one of the primary motivations for my own research. Hard to describe in words what did you expect?

This article is superb. If authors of textbooks read this book, they would see that such individuals do exist. I grew up in Mexico and as I look back, people we thought were crazy might have been individuals that were completely sane, but deaf and lacked communication skills. I have a son adopted from a country in South America who had no language at all until we adopted him at age nine years. He is profoundly deaf and at Fascinating post…. Fascinating article. Language acquisition device LAD is involved. No access - L2 learners use their general learning capacity.

Indirect access - Only that part of UG which has been used in L1 acquisition is used in L2 acquisition. Proponents of UG, for example, believe that both children and adults utilize similar universal principles when acquiring a language; and LAD is still involved in the acquisition process. This view can be better understood in the following quote. A dvocates of UG approach working on second-language learning Most second-language researchers who adopt the UG perspective assume that the principles and parameters of UG are still accessible to the adult learner. According to research both child L1 and adult L2 learners e. This shows that such learners are somewhat affected by UG-based knowledge. Jerry Fodor studied the relationship between language and mind and his view that language is a modular process has important implications for a theory of language acquisition.

The term modular is used to indicate that the brain is seen, unlike older views such as behaviouristic view of learning and language learning, to be organized with many modules of cells for a particular ability for instance, the visual module. These modules, according to Fodor , operate in isolation from other modules that they are not directly connected. To put it simply, each module is open to specific type of data. In other words, modules are domain specific. This is another way of saying that conscious knowledge cannot penetrate your visual module or language module or any other subconscious module.

Add to this, such a modular approach to language acquisition is totally different from the views of Piaget and Vygotsky who have laid the primary emphasis on the role of social or environmental factors in language development. Yet UG proponents had to deal with acquisition to account for the language itself. A second drawback is that Chomsky studied only the core grammar of the English language syntax and investigated a number of linguistic universals seems to be the major problem. And he neglected the peripheral grammar, that is, language specific rules i. Thirdly, the primary function of language is communication, but it is discarded. The final and the most significant problem is a methodological one.

Due to the fact that Chomsky is concerned only with describing and explaining 'competence', there can be little likelihood of SLA researchers carrying out empirical research. In summary, UG has generated valuable predictions about the course of interlanguage and the influence of the first language. Also, it has provided invaluable information regarding L2 teaching as to how L2 teachers or educational linguists should present vocabulary items and how they should view grammar. As Cook puts it, UG shows us that language teaching should deal with how vocabulary should be taught, not as tokens with isolated meanings but as items that play a part in the sentence saying what structures and words they may go with in the sentence.

The evidence in support of UG, on the other hand, is not conclusive. If the language module that determines the success in L1 acquisition is proved to be accessible in L2 acquisition, L2 teaching methodologists and methods should study and account for how to trigger this language module and redesign their methodologies. The UG theory should, therefore, be studied in detail so as to endow us with a more educational and pedagogical basis for mother tongue and foreign language teaching. Chomsky - the Evidence. We saw that Chomsky is certainly mistaken in believing that children hear only partial and ungrammatical sentences. Studies of the ways in which parents, and particularly mothers, interact with their babies and infants show that they use a special kind of language, and take great care to speak in full correct sentences to their children.

Nevertheless, the rapidity with which children do learn their mother tongue does suggest that there may be some underlying mechanism that fits them for this task. It is necessary to note that children in some cultures are not spoken to by their parents directly, and yet they learn their mother tongue all the same. Pinker suggests that the neurotic behaviour of Western middle-class mothers is a parallel to that observed in some African societies, where mothers are very anxious to teach their children to sit up.

From time to time, there appear in our midst beings who challenge our conception of what it means to be human. These beings are often referred to as wild children or wolf children. They are often tragic figures, offering glimpses of what might have been, of fully human intelligence that somehow does not enable them to live a social life. This is particularly true if they are already through puberty when they are found. They suggest to us that there may be a ' critical age ', an age beyond which any child who has somehow missed out on learning a language will never completely master one.

The most striking recent case, however, is rather more ambiguous in its results:. In , two women, one of them suffering from cataracts, and partially blind, stumbled into the social services bureau of Temple City, in California, bringing with them a child. At first, the staff thought that the child was about 6 or seven years old, and that she was autistic - she weighed four stone, and stood 4' 6" high. She did not appear to talk. On further investigation, she turned out to be 13 years old. She could understand some words - about 20, including the colours, red, blue, green and brown, the word 'Mother' and some other names, the verbs 'walk' and 'go' and a few other nouns, such as 'door' or 'bunny'.

She could say only two things - 'Stopit', and 'Nomore'. Why was she in this condition? When she had been about 20 months old, her father, who was suffering from a severe depression, sparked off by the accidental and brutal death of his mother, decided that she was severely retarded, and that she needed protection from the world. This protection he provided by shutting her up in a small bedroom, and leaving her there for the next eleven years. Genie was attached to a potty by a special harness for most of the day, and then, at night, she would be fastened into a sleeping bag, unable to move her arms, and put into a cot. There was very little sound in the house, for the father forced the rest of the family to speak in whispers.

If Genie herself attempted to make any noise, her father would beat her with a stick. On those occasions upon which he felt the need to communicate with his daughter, her father would bark or growl like a dog. Genie had very little visual or physical stimulation. Hung up in the room were a couple of plastic raincoats, and she was sometimes allowed to play with them. Other small toys - plastic containers, or the TV journal - were sometimes given her. Her feeding was swift and silent, and she had eaten nothing but baby foods and cereals - she did not know how to chew.

Genie was immediately surrounded by a team of scientists. These people were particularly interested in her progress in language. Would she ever learn to speak? According to the neuropsychologist, Eric Lenneberg, in his book Biological Foundations of Language , , the capacity to learn a language is indeed innate, and, like many such inborn mechanisms, it is circumscribed in time. If a child does not learn a language before the onset of puberty, the child will never master language at all.

This is known as the critical period hypothesis. If Lenneberg was right, then Genie, at over 12 years old, would never be able to speak properly. If, on the other hand, she did learn to produce grammatically correct sentences, then Lenneberg was wrong. At first, a number of the people working with her were convinced that she was going to demonstrate the falsity of the critical period hypothesis. One year after her escape, her language resembled that of a normal month old child. It is at this point that the language of the normal child begins to take off - there is a sudden qualitative change, and the infant learns not only more and more vocabulary, but also more and more complex grammar.

But with Genie, this did not happen. So had Genie's case proven that Chomsky and Lenneberg were right? No, she had not. Lenneberg himself observed that Genie's personal history was so disastrous, that it would not be at all clear why she had been unable to make more progress. It could be that she had been so emotionally damaged by her father's treatment that all learning processes would be interfered with. Others suggested that perhaps her father had been right in judging that she was mentally abnormal. Brain scans had shown some unusual features - in particular that Genie's brain was dominated by her right hemisphere.

Language is mainly situated in the left hemisphere. Was it her brain that was interfering with her language, or was it the lack of linguistic stimulation, and resulting under utilisation of the left hemisphere that had resulted in right brain dominance? Genie's lack of progress with language is, as so often with the evidence that I have quoted, capable of interpretation either in a Chomskian framework, or in line with Bruner's ideas. Her experience does suggest that, over a certain age, any child who has not learnt a language will have great difficulty in acquiring one.

Lenneberg's hypothesis is not proven, but it is strongly supported. Is there further evidence? Blind children, particularly when born to sighted mothers, do not receive the same degree of stimulation, and that they therefore fall behind in their linguistic development. In most cases, they catch up pretty quickly - thus comforting the Chomskian line ; parents may hasten the speed of progress a little, or they may hold it back a little, but in the long run, all children brought up in normal circumstances achieve fluency. What about deaf children? Here there is some evidence that being unable to hear can have long-term effects upon language acquisition.

This is true not simply of spoken language, but also of sign language. It has its own grammar, which is not the same as that of English - nor the same as that of French sign language. Often, it is learnt late in life, and when this is the case, the learner 'speaks' it with a foreign accent - and makes the same kind of grammatical errors that a foreigner makes. If the deaf person learns the language as a child, however, they learn it fluently, and can use all the resources that it offers.

A particularly interesting case is that of 'Chelsea'; her behaviour gave her parents cause for concern. They took her to see a series of doctors, who diagnosed her as being retarded. Her family refused to believe this - she was brought up in a very sheltered and loving environment, but never learnt how to speak. Then, at the age of 31, she was taken to see a neurologist, who recognised that she was, in fact, deaf. She was given hearing aids, which brought her auditive capacity up to about normal levels. But when she speaks, she produces strings of words, with no apparent underlying syntactic structure. Her utterances may be comprehensible in context, but they look nothing like normal sentences.

Other evidence from deaf people is also interesting. Recently, linguists have been showing more and more interest in the language of the hard-of-hearing - Sign language. We now know that Sign Language is a full language - it has a full lexical range, it has a complex syntax, and a complex system of signs, whose relationship to referents is as arbitrary as is that of other languages - even when they seem most iconic. There is not simply one sign language - people who use British Sign Language cannot understand people who use ASL - neither language is directly related to English. People who learn to sign in adolescence or adulthood are very similar to people who learn a foreign language - they have an accent, and they never master the more arcane syntactic rules.

Children who learn do master the language - and, according to Steven Pinker, they master it even when they learn from parents who do not speak it properly. Once again, this is suggestive - children are specially programmed to learn a language, and they lose this skill at puberty - once again, both Chomsky's and Lenneberg's positions appear to be vindicated. Evidence from neurology is also suggestive - many children who have suffered damage to the left hemisphere are able to acquire a language by transferring language to the right hemisphere.

Adults are not able to perform the same feat as easily. Once again, it would seem that Lenneberg may be right - there is a critical period for first language learning. This obviously interests us as teachers of a second language. Many observers have noted that a second language appears to be more difficult to learn after puberty. Later on, we shall see that this observation has not gone unchallenged, and that for certain kinds of linguistic knowledge, adults and adolescents apparently learn more quickly than children - but it may be that the way that they learn is totally different - whereas children may still call upon the LAD to learn a second language, adults and teenagers have to use other strategies, and in particular, they have to lean heavily upon their first language.

In this section, I have mainly relied on Pinker. David Crystal, 'The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Language' is also very informative, as it is on other aspects of language disability, such as aphasia. Now let us look at how children actually do learn language. They may begin to learn in the womb. We know that they react to their mothers' voices from birth - they have been listening to her over the last three months of pregnancy.

However, the first noticeable active vocal activity begins at about 8 weeks - the baby begins to coo - at first producing individual sounds, but later stringing them together in a rhythmical pattern. Then, at around 20 weeks, the baby diversifies the sounds she is producing, and gradually starts babbling. Babbling involves a selection process. Bit by bit, however, the range of sounds used narrows down, and the child concentrates more and more upon the sounds used by the mother tongue.

She is listening to you. So what is being said to her? We remember that Chomsky claims that children only hear very partial and ungrammatical input. It is now known that this claim is almost certainly false - adults in our culture, when speaking to children, take great care to phrase their utterances correctly. This is probably not because they are thinking primarily about offering the correct syntactic model, but because they are aiming for clarity of expression. It has been noticed that mothers and other caretakers , when speaking to children, adopt a certain number of specific verbal strategies.

The style of speech that they use is sometimes referred to as ' Motherese ', although non-sexist linguists prefer to call it ' caretaker talk '. What are the characteristics of this kind of language? So the language that children hear is by no means necessarily partial and ungrammatical. It has been suggested that these characteristics offer the child such clear samples of language, that there is no need to posit a Chomskian black box, or UG.

However, supporters of the UG approach point out that -. In Samoa, for example, adults very rarely speak directly to their children, and among some black communities in the US, it is considered a waste of time to speak to children who are too young to give sensible replies - why talk to them, they don't know anything yet? And yet, these children also learn language.

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