Discussion of Language development

Language was considered as a special or unique skill or an ability to explore world for human, Compared with other species. Both Psychologists and linguists wondered how humans develop such unique ability and why language was only available in human being. There were two main theories of language development which psychologists presented during the first half of the twentieth century.

The first perspective indicated by behaviorist was that language is acquired through operant conditioning as behavior. The young children imitate adult speech or conversation to develop their language system. Unfortunately, this perspective could not explain a children’s novel speech such as “Goed” that never appeared in adult’s speaking. The second perspective indicated by linguists was that language is not only a uniquely human accomplishment but also it is natural ability in human’s brain. They also claim young children have innate language acquisition device to permit them acquire sufficient components of language. In the flowing study of language development, many psychologists and linguists combined these two basic theories and induce some new version of theory such as information-processing theories and social interaction theories.

 After reviewing such many theories of language development, I think language is just an artificial method communication of human beings. The other species may use other methods of communication such as odor, gesture and singing. I think we can consider language is unique for human, but it is just one of many communication ways in natural world. Some researches indicate other species can not learn about human’s language exclusive some rare cases and conclude the language is unique for human. On the other hand, we should be aware that humans also hardly to imitate and learn other species’ language such odor. So I think the human’s language was only unique to human, bird’s language was only unique to bird and a particular’s language was only unique to that specie. There is a boundary separating specie in language as different species have different biological structure of bodies.

Chuanjian Wang


~ by chuanjian on November 15, 2009.

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