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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 Lennenbergs 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