Friday, December 14, 2018

'Exploring the Universality and Diversity of Human Language Essay\r'

' delivery is an alone-important tool of public for expression. We think, address and write in styles. Indeed, our use of civilize mode of expression such as voice communication is what distinguishes us from animals. Language is already very lots a disassemble of us, scarce we often put in it for granted. We do non give it much public opinion and belike quite a few taste to make sense out of its nature and its complexities. expansive authorities in psychology, philosophy and linguistics accept the idea of oral communication as a superior general piece cogency.\r\nIf it is not, wherefore is it that despite little intimacy of talking to and its discipline usage, children as young as dickens years, of any race or ethnicity, promptly fancy to speak and understand any nomenclature they atomic number 18 exposed to? It is astonishing how thousands of various vocabularys and dialects prep be evolved since the confusion at Babel in Genesis. The Ethnologue has listed more than sixsome thousand (6,000) spoken communications from all over the world (Grimes, 2001). bloodline that we do not just now refer to educate styles, and there could probably be more that hurt not been docu handsted yet, or, deport not withal been heard of by the civilized population (i. e. tribal languages).\r\nNow, with the innumer adequate to(p) modes of pronunciation and styles of language use, we mickle probably come up with a million varieties of languages. If language is a universal hu homophile faculty, why ar clement languages so different? Universality of Language level off the scriptures provided some proof to substantiate the concept that language is universal. Before the Tower of Babel incident, as cited in the book of Genesis, remember that man attractive had one language. invariably since God intervened to cause confusion at Babel and men dispersed to various parts of the earth, human language devour evolved into various kinds.\r\nStill, how constantly, human languages argon astoundingly alike(p)! In what way are human languages the same, and why? Kumar (1997) cited that children could learn al near any language with the right(a) timing. Children learn at a remarkable tread if they are immersed in the language during their critical check for language break offment, which is usually between the age of two to five years. Such that at the age of six, they would have â€Å"learned to use and understand about xiii thousand (13,000) haggle” (Dunbar, 1996).\r\nFurther, children of average intellectual cleverness learn about ten (10) new words a day by the time they overtake their first birthday. If we have to do our math, this is the â€Å"equivalent of a new word both 90 proceeding of (their) waking life” (Dunbar, 1996). It is amazing how children learn a language in such a succinct time and, only by hearing a few words and short sentences from their parents and opposites, they are able to come u p with virtually galore(postnominal) new(prenominal)s, most of which even follow correct grammatical principles. on that point are no set rules or organisations of instruction children their first language.\r\nJust by the mere photo to the language in their natural environment, they begin to pantomime what they hear, experiment on words and phrases, then adults correct them at one point, and quite considerably, they learn to speak the language despite its complexities. This is referred to as the â€Å"environmental introduce” in the article of Nowak and his colleagues (2002), that appeared in the 6 June 2002 of the Nature. Because of this environmental input, â€Å"children construct an internal representation of the underlying grammar. Children are not told of the grammatical rules.\r\nNeither children nor adults are ever aware of the grammatical rules that specify their own language” (p. 614). Wilhelm von Humboldt (as cited in Chomsky, 1968) believes that: â €Å"underlying any human language we will find a system that is universal, that evidently expresses man’s unique intellectual attributes. For this reason, it was attainable for him to maintain the rationalist view that language is not really learned †certainly not taught †but rather develops from within, in an essentially predetermined way, when the fascinate environmental conditions exist.\r\nOne cannot really teach a first language, he argued, but can only provide the thread along which it will develop of its own accord, by processes more like maturement than education” (Chomsky, 1968). Moreover, it does seem that languages transcend cultural boundaries. A good evidence of this would be how children learn in the same way regardless of cultural background. We can only wonder why when a family moves to another(prenominal) community with a different dialect for instance, children are the quickest to adapt and learn the new language.\r\nDo globe have the naive ability and apparatus for acquiring language within the brain? lee (1997 ) looked into this innateness of language from a neurobiological standpoint. He take a firm stand that there is â€Å"certain preexisting universal biological order in the brain. If they did not preexist, how would the many brains name synaptic connections that were similar to one another, even the brains of batch that speak different languages?\r\n” Certain parts (such as Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas) of the brain are responsible for specialized linguistic functions, which gist, â€Å"there are innate physical structure of the brain which govern our learning of language. ” Chomsky (1975), a noted linguist, believes that we are â€Å"specifically knowing” to learn language. As Biehler (1976) puts it, there are â€Å"link uniformities” in languages of other cultures that follow grammatical patterns (universal grammar). Even Farrel (1978) agrees that there is â€Å"an underlying design original to all languages.\r\n” For all of them, language is simply a part of our genetic endowment, or as the evolutionist Haugen (1973) would say it, we have the â€Å"gift of language,” or the â€Å"universal gift of tongues. ” Chomsky and other linguists believe that there are system of principles, conditions, and rules that are elements of all human languages. Human languages contain structure, which means they are composed of several words separate basically by function (verbs, nouns, etc. ) and this is referred to in linguistic literatures as innate universal grammar.\r\nâ€Å"The human brain is equipped with a learning algorithm, which enables us to learn certain languages. This algorithm can learn each of the existing 6,000 human languages and presumably many more, but it is impossible that algorithm could learn every computable language” (Nowak, Komarova and Niyogi, p. 615). What are the implications of all these? ir maintainive of cultural background, whatever language we know or use now, we are all innately dispose to comprehend design in languages and we can easily grasp and work around grammatical rules, as yet complex or elaborate they are.\r\nAlthough of course, young children are at an advantage in using this gift, as timing in acquiring a language is important as well. Nonetheless, as a general statement, regardless of cultural or ethnic background, man’s remarkable ability to communicate by means of language, in itself, is already a good consequence of the universality of language as a human faculty. As mentioned in the Atlas of Languages (1996), there is no known society or community in the world that is language-less.\r\nFrom the evolutionists’ point of view, language is essentially a human trait and this is a powerful evidence on the universality of language. While animals of the same kind have their own way of communicating, only humans had â€Å"the power of r ecursion to create an open-ended and limitless system of communication” Hauser, Chomsky and Fitch, 2002, p. 1578). Why and how humans acquired the faculty of language and managed to â€Å"spread from human to human and from culture to culture,” (Knezek, 1997) are often the usual subjects of discussion of scholars.\r\nEvolutionists would agree that â€Å"the faculty meditating human communication appears remarkably different from that of other living creatures…. that the human faculty of language appears to be organized like the genetic enactment with respect to its scope of expression. ” Animals have been â€Å"designed on the foundation garment of highly conserved developmental systems that read an more or less universal language coded in DNA cornerstone pairs,” however, â€Å"they lack a common universal code of communication” (Hauser, Chomsky and Fitch, 2002, p. 1569).\r\n'

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