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Babies have very good speech recognition by around 2 years of age. How can a baby do this and what factors are important in the sensory environment to allow this to happen - Essay Example

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Children are born with the ability to learn language, beginning at birth. Linguistic professions argue that all children, regardless of their native language, learn language in a similar manner. Nonetheless, most children learn…
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Babies have very good speech recognition by around 2 years of age. How can a baby do this and what factors are important in the sensory environment to allow this to happen
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Extract of sample "Babies have very good speech recognition by around 2 years of age. How can a baby do this and what factors are important in the sensory environment to allow this to happen"

Download file to see previous pages However, children learn the vocabulary and sound of their first language primarily through imitation; seldom are they any grammar. Despite this, they rapidly learn to speak in a grammatically correct language. This phenomenon supports Noam Chomsky theory that children learn grammar of particular languages because all intelligent languages base their foundation on a complex structure of universal grammatical rules that are parallel to an innate capability of the human brain (Dupoux and Mehler, 2001:371). Similar to children learning their native languages, adults too pass through these stages when they try to learn a second language. This paper seeks to provide a comprehensive explanation of language acquisition, as well as a review of how infants respond to speech.
Language is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon. It incorporates both nonverbal and verbal aspects that most children seem to acquire quickly. Prior to birth, all nerve cells are virtually formed, and they position themselves into strategic locations in the brain of an infant. After birth, a baby can hear, see, and respond to touch, but only slightly. At this stage, the stem of the brain (a primitive region responsible for controlling vital functions such as breathing and heartbeat) has accomplished its wiring tasks (Gopnik, 2011:46). However, the connections between different nerve cells are still weak and wispy. This improves after a few months, with the high centers of the brain exploding with new synapses. Consequently, an infant is biologically prepared to tackle the stages of language acquisition.
According to linguistic experts, there are four stages of language acquisition, which are phonology, syntax, pragmatics, and semantics. Phonology essentially refers to the study of the organization of speech sounds and their related functions. It serves as the primary ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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