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Unformatted text preview: Lennenberg 22/01/2008 14:06:00 ← Human language is instinctual • Today: The evidence ← Eric Heinz Lennenberg (1921 – 1975) • A linguist who pioneered ideas on language acquisition, particularly in terms of the concept of innateness • He was born in Dusseldorf, Germany. Fled to the US • Key paper: “The Capacity of Language Acquisition” (1964) o Originally published in 1960 introduces arguments about the human- specific biological capacity for language ← Lennenberg’s criteria • Biologically-determined, instinctual behavior • Follow its own schedule o May emerge before needed o Develops in steps or milestones o Must develop during "critical period” or not at all • “May emerge before needed” o Language abilities of 5-year-olds are nearly the same as adults’ (vocabulary differences aside). Do 5-year-olds really need that?...
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- Spring '07
- human language, Eric Heinz Lennenberg