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To what extent does on past tense morphology suggest that children are born with innate knowledge of grammatical rules - Research Paper Example

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To what extent does on past tense morphology suggest that children are born with innate knowledge of grammatical rules

According to the research findings the area of language acquisition in children is full of arguments and counterarguments among major linguists. Many times, the viewpoint either group assumes completely contradicts the contrary group’s argument. The theoretical approach is in wide usage in interpretation phonological and semantic acquisition of linguistic abilities in children, and major controversies are noticeable along this dimension. Major contributors to this debate are Pinker and his colleagues on one side, and McClelland and their colleagues on the contrary side. McClelland and Patterson are largely sympathetic to the proposition of connectionists with regard to acquisition of linguistic knowledge. However, the standpoints of either team of sociolinguists are particularly divergent with regard to acquisition of past tense morphology in children. This controversy is of much interest to linguists, and necessitates further probing and examination of the tenets on which either ideology rests. The purpose of this paper is to debate the extent to which the two groups of researchers discuss the occurrence of innate knowledge of grammatical rule s in children. Earlier studies on the acquisition of past morphologies gave insight into a number of factors affecting the process of past tense verbal inflection in children. Kuczaj’s study was one of the pioneering works on language acquisition of language in children with regard to past tense inflection. Unlike prior presumptions about past tense inflection in children, the study showed that the regular rule of ‘ed’ is not more likely to be overgeneralized to irregular forms such as ‘hit’ than other forms of irregular forms. In addition, there was a partial validity of the one of the study’s hypotheses that the two types of overgeneralization errors highlighted by the study had inquisitional relevance. Consequently, limited use of regular verbs was significant in reducing the number of overgeneralization errors. In summary, Kuczaj (589) backs the theory that acquisition of past tense morphology in children is dependent on learning environment. Consequently, past tense inflection is not an innate process but a rule-based process based on knowledge on words and rules for processing past tense verbal inflections. Innate Understanding of Past tense with regard to Rule-Based model of language acquisition In their defense of the rule-based model, Pinker and Ullman appear to oppose the suggestion that the understanding of past tense morphology is in anyway innate in children’s acquisition of language. According to Pinker, children rely on learning to acquire knowledge on the use of past tense forms of verbs. Children learn the use of past tense from common forms of past tenses, specifically the use of ‘d’ and ‘ed’. Children then create rules based on these rules, which also explains why most mistakes made with regard to past tense morpho ...Show more


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