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Read What is a language, and write a short (about 750 words) summarizing the arguments they give in support of their cla - Essay Example

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Read What is a language, and write a short (about 750 words) summarizing the arguments they give in support of their cla

Within modern linguistic theory, claiming that a language is rule-managed is to maintain that it can be described in terms of grammar which is a set of rules (Smith and Wilson 332). Grammar has two major roles; separating grammatical from incorrect sentences and providing explanation of each grammatical sentence indicating how it should be pronounced and what it depicts (Smith and Wilson 333). Speakers of a language habitually behave as if their language was rule-governed yet not all speakers of the same language possess same set rules. For each speaker, there is a right and a wrong way of constructing and understanding sentences. This can neither be explained exclusively in terms of customs nor are habits, since the case novel utterances, produced and comprehended without having been heard before (Smith and Wilson 333). It can also not be explained solely in terms of convention or social agreement as each speaker has varying methods of construction and understanding which he shares with no one else (Smith and Wilson 334). Rule system can easily be created and operated by one individual such as, cases of children learning their first language and that of adults with idiosyncratic speech patterns (Smith and Wilson 339). ...
The grammar that a speaker actually possesses will depend, at least in part, on the utterances he has heard in the past-mainly as a child learning language for the first time.Since each speaker will have heard different set of utterances, it is not surprising that he comes to possess a slightly different grammar from those of people around him (Smith and Wilson 333). Strictly speaking, in spite of the miscellany of the utterances of which speakers are exposed in learning their language, Smith and Wilson argue that there seems to be incredible similarity in grammars which result from learning process (333). The linguistic knowledge that speakers have is unconscious knowledge. The work of a linguist is to devise explicitly conscious grammatical conventions that speakers are acquainted with. The distinction between rule-governed regularities and fortuitous patterns in language is usually by significant generalization and accidental generalizations (Smith and Wilson 334). Accidental generalizations occur by chance while significant are those attained after operation of rules; thus, the search for linguistic rules has two aspects. One is the search for patterns and second is the rejection of those patterns which are considered accidental (Smith and Wilson 335). According to a study by Noam Chomsky, human beings are inherently disposed to learn certain varieties of language (Smith and Wilson 336). In other words, the languages that actually exist are the ones that children are subjected to learn. This is supported further by two facts: first, that human languages exhibit noteworthy similarities; second, children follow remarkable parallel routes to ...Show more


Instructor Date What is a language? According to the Oxford dictionary (2007), language is the manner in which humans communicate, either in verbal or written forms. This communication entails the employing the use of words in a well thought-out and conformist way.Human language is a complex system and therefore, subject to a variety of independent advances…
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