Noam Chomsky's Universal Grammar

In: English and Literature

Submitted By SuryaD
Words 4414
Pages 18
INTRODUCTION

Based on the discussion of the validity of Noam Chomsky’s perception of Universal Grammar (UG), some past & current researches which maintain & contest Chomsky’s UG from different areas are represented. The essay focuses on: 1) Chomsky’s Universal Grammar in brief, in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) context; 2) Evidences supporting Chomsky’s UG - views offered by linguists such as Williams and White, etc, to provide arguments to support UG pertaining to first language acquisition and second language acquisition; 3) Evidences refuting Chomsky’s UG - according to Piaget and Haspelmath, etc, based on the insufficient assumption of SLA and also biological evolutions; 4) UG and language teaching; 5) and in the conclusion, I shall add my two-cent worth of perspective as a language teacher.

1) Chomsky’s Universal Grammar in Brief Universal Grammar is the brainchild of Noam Chomsky, adopting the cognitive approach. Human beings have implicit knowledge of grammar but may not be able to explain how they get this ability. This is because they have no conscious awareness of the processes involved. 1) Universal grammar is a theory of knowledge: It is mainly concern with the internal structure of the human mind, suggesting that the speaker knows a set of principles that apply to all languages, and parameters that vary from one language to another. It makes precise statements about properties of the mind based on specific evidence. It is important to note that the theory attempts to integrate grammar, mind and language at the same time. Chomsky considers UG to be comprised of what he terms “principles” and “parameters.” The term principles refers to highly abstract properties of grammar that underlie the rules of…...

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