A vivid analysis of Chomsky’s theory shows that there is an innate ability within man that distinguishes him from other animals in as far as language acquisition is concerned. To put his point more clearly, Chomsky gives an insight into the innateness Hypothesis of language acquisition…
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He was able to give an evident account of the case of Victor of Aveyron who showed severe difficulty in developing language skills after years of isolation in the woods where he only interacted with animals. Subsequent observed improvement in language acquisition by Victor of Aveyron and a similar case of Genie in the United States seemed to provide reliable backup towards the theories of Chomsky. In the two cases of feral children, isolation from human interaction at childhood was attributed to the slow rate of language acquisition.
The film Secret of the wild child is a reflection of how one United States girl commonly known as Genie was discovered in 1970 after suffering from physical abuse over a decade of isolation. The ensuing efforts to make her learn language proved difficult to achieve and this led to the advance element of Critical Period Hypothesis. In this theory, it is emphasized that there is a period mostly from infancy to adolescence when a human being has the highest potential of gaining native language competency. Outside this time limit, a child will experience severe difficulty in learning a language. The case of Genie who was discovered having been isolated for more than the critical age was an evidence of this research finding. This theory further asserts why adults find it difficult to learn the language than children as they have exceeded the critical period.
After 13 years of isolation and deprivation, the mother of Genie left her abusive husband.Her mother, grandmother and herself had gone into the Social Welfare office in Temple City, California, to learn about resources for the blind in November 1970. It is at this point that a social worker grew curious over the possibly abnormal posture of the young girl who also looked younger than her actual age. The social worker’s initial thought of autism of the girl compelled her to enquire and subsequently.
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