Linguistics Homework 8

Linguistics Homework 8 - construct the full system. 2. Does...

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Andrea Kam April 2, 2008 Linguistics 101 (008) Homework #8 1. In what sense do Pidgin and Creole language provide an argument in favor of the innateness hypothesis? Language contact may lead to the birth of new language like systems or even language systems called pidgins and creoles. If given the right circumstances, the emergence of pidgin and creole languages is driven by unconscious processes that involve the deeply rooted human need to communicate. The basic claim behind the innateness hypothesis is that language acquisition normally takes place on the basis of input that is rather incomplete to begin with (poverty of the stimulus argument) If children can construct a complete mental grammar that delivers a complete language on the basis of an extremely impoverished input, it must be the case that there is a fairly specific and articulated innate system that takes any communicative type on input as a sufficient trigger to
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Unformatted text preview: construct the full system. 2. Does the case of the Nicaraguan sign language provide an argument in support of the empiricist or nativist point of view? Motivate your answer. Empiricists believe nature/innateness has no or little to do with the acquisition of language. The case of the Nicaraguan sign language provides an argument in support of the empiricist point of view because it is a sign language spontaneously developed by deaf children in a number of schools in western Nicaragua . The children were disconnected from their teacher. But the bus to and from school provided an area for them to communicate with each other, and by combining gestures and elements of their home-sign systems, a pidgin-like form, and then a creole-like language rapidly emerged. They were creating their own language....
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