• javra
    1.3k
    Language formation occurs as the result of a priori rules hard wired into our DNA. I — Hanover

    There are plenty of approaches within psycholinguistics that offer alternatives to this Chomskyesque view of language. Embodied and enactivist models embrace the later Wittgenstein while rejecting innatist and representationalist theoreis of language.
    Joshs

    Haven't read much of these alternative accounts in relation to language. Can these alternative accounts reasonably explain why humans which were not exposed to language in their preadolescent years cannot learn to speak grammatically correct language?
  • Hanover
    6.9k
    You could, however, make that information public. There is an object that is pointed to. The thing about a private language is that it cannot be made public.Fooloso4

    I get that I cannot point to an internal sensation, but what of non-nouns that I cannot point to, like run, put, beside, and without? What about nouns that I can't point to, like freedom, the United States, agency, Bigfoot, the current Queen of France, etc.?
  • Hanover
    6.9k
    Haven't read much of these alternative accounts in relation to language. Can these alternative accounts reasonably explain why humans which were not exposed to language in their preadolescent years cannot learn to speak grammatically correct language?javra

    If you fail to develop your language skills at an early age, they don't develop correctly. What other explanation is there?
  • javra
    1.3k
    If you fail to develop your language skills at an early age, they don't develop correctly. What other explanation is there?Hanover

    Hey, I agree! But being the fallibilist that I am, I asked out of curiosity.
  • Joshs
    1.9k
    Can these alternative accounts reasonably explain why humans which were not exposed to language in their preadolescent years cannot learn to speak grammatically correct language?javra

    There are a lot of capacities that we learn much more effectively in early childhood than in adulthood, such as a foreign accent and perceptual skills. . This would seem to be more a matter of the neural plasticity of a young brain rather than the effect of innate structures.
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k
    What about nouns that I can't point to, like freedom, the United States, agency, Bigfoot, the current Queen of France, etc.?Hanover

    These are things about which there is enough familiarity to discuss them.

    The sensation that only I have that I name 'S' is not like that. Or maybe you too have a sensation you call 'S'. Are they the same or even similar? How could we tell?
  • javra
    1.3k
    There are a lot of capacities that we learn much more effectively in early childhood than in adulthood, such as a foreign accent and perceptual skills. . This would seem to be more a matter of the neural plasticity of a young brain rather than the effect of innate structures.Joshs

    I grant the explanation, but it leaves me, personally, far from convinced. We are by far the most behaviorally plastic species that we know of. Yes. But I don't find this fact to in any way dispel the reality that we too hold genetically innate behaviors. From our innate ability to engage in basic perception (e.g. of a basic behavior) to our innate imprinting on caregivers (e.g. of a complex instinctive behavior), innate activities in humans still play an important part of our behavior as a species. And I can find no reason not to include universal grammar in the list.

    There are also other questions that could be asked, such as an explanation for creole languages:

    The system used by the original speakers is typically an inconsistent mix of vocabulary items, known as a pidgin. As these speakers' children begin to acquire their first language, they use the pidgin input to effectively create their own original language, known as a creole. Unlike pidgins, creoles have native speakers (those with acquisition from early childhood) and make use of a full, systematic grammar.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_grammar#Presence_of_creole_languages

    How does increased neural plasticity in youth in and of itself account for why creole develops from pidgin when pidgin is all that children are exposed to and when pidgin works well enough for the adult original speakers?

    But to sum, I grant your explanation, but I find it very wanting.
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