Compare And Contrast Chomsky And Lenneberg

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Throughout history humans have tried to comprehend how human languages are learned and developed. Two theories that try to answer this are Lenneberg’s Critical period Hypothesis and Chomsky’s Universal Grammar Theory. In the critical period a hypothesis Lenneberg says that learning language is biological linked to age and is much harder after adolescence , while Chomsky argues that the ability to learn language is natural consist of similar properties that are shared and that we have no conscious awareness of grammar which is something that is “hardwired into the brain” . The movie Nell supports Chomsky’s Universal Grammar theory where he states that all natural human languages have similar properties and share universal grammar, that learning languages is natural and how she was able to learn English.…show more content…
In the movie “Nell”, Doctor Lowell is able to understand Nell despite knowing the language she is speaking. He comprehends her by using the tone, action and the way she speaks to understand certain phrases she says. For example in the movie when Nell says “Tay in the Wind” the Doctor is able to understand her and figure out that she meant “tree in the wind”. Noam Chomsky’s Universal grammar theory says that “Universal Grammar is a biological evolutionary trait, common to all humans” . In other words the way we speak and grammar is a trait that all humans share. Just like the Doctor was able to understand Nell’s language through similar properties in her language. For that reason he could comprehend that “Tay in the Wind” actually meant I am a tree in the wind to Nell despite her saying it in her own language. Therefore the similar properties that all humans share that Chomsky’s Universal Grammar theory refers to, is how the Doctor was able to apprehend the phrases Nell was

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