Nativist theory of language learning / Nativist theory of Noam Chomsky for language acquisition.

Nativist theory of language learning
Nativist Theory of Chomsky

Discuss the nativist theory of language learning /  Explain the nativist theory of Noam Chomsky for language acquisition / Briefly discuss innatism.


(Short points:  Chomsky, Nativist Theory, LAD,TG grammar, UG grammar, Weakness of the theory.)

Noam Chomsky, the father of modern linguistics, developed the nativist theory of language learning. It is also known as innate theory, rationalist theory, innatist theory or mentalist theory.

Nativist theory argues that humans are biologically programmed to achieve knowledge. It contradicts behaviorist theory which vents language as a set of habits.

Chomsky revealed that the mind is genetically constructed with a device which is known as LAD or Language Acquisition Device. The LAD preserves knowledge of grammatical rules which is common to every language. It further allows children to understand the rules of their language.

Chomsky also disclosed the concept of TG grammar, Universal Grammar. TG grammar or Transformational Generative Grammar transforms a sentence from surface structure to deep structure. Surface structure is the actual meaning of the sentence and deep structure is the underlying meaning.
Human's ability to acquire a language is innate. This innate tendency to learn a language is LAD. LAD consists of UG or universal grammar. UG has a set of basic grammatical rules or fixed elements that are common in all languages. Chomsky defined these elements as Language Universals.

To find out the nature of LAD is not easy. It is the weakness of nativist theory.

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