Noam Chomsky Theory

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Noam Chomsky

Theory Overview-

Noam Chomsky is most widely known for his cognitive language theory in grammar acquisition. He describes grammar as being somewhat innate versus learned. He proposes, “We are all born with an innate knowledge of grammar that serves as the basis for all language acquisition” (Dovey, 2015). His concept is that the brain acquires a grammar-based understanding as it first begins to process a language. Chomsky proposes that children should be exposed to the complexities of grammar at an early age to enable them to procure linguistic competence (Shaffer, 2011).

Aspect of Lifespan Development (Module Focus)- Cognitive and Language Development
• Universal Grammar (UG)
Language Acquisition Device (LAD)
• Surface Structure
• Deep Structure (Schaffer, 2011)
Process (Expansion of Theory Components)-
While Chomsky, suggests that some grammar concepts are innate, he advocates that children be allowed to use this knowledge to further develop through experience. Chomsky’s UG theory is that all grammar, regardless of language, shares certain attributes such as past, present and future tenses and noun and verb use. By engaging in conversation with adults, the children can understand patterns and guidelines for correct grammar use. This concept is Chomsky’s LAD, “whereby children set about constructing the grammar of their native language from the speech they hear” (Shaffer, 2011). It is suggested that language forms at the deep structure level and
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