Chapter

Language–Learning From Behaviorism to Nativism

Fiona Cowie

in What's Within?

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780195159783
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849529 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159783.003.0007

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series

Language–Learning From Behaviorism to Nativism

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In contrast to the empiricist view, which states how all learning involves general strategies that can be applied in various fields and learning from experience, the nativist view explains how the acquisition of some knowledge cannot be associated with the domain-neutral empiricist model. In 1960, Noam Chomsky made his claims regarding how human beings are innately bestowed of knowledge of natural languages. This chapter attempts to provide an overview of Chomsky's explanation of language acquisition and how this has once again gained the attention of both American Structuralist linguistics and psychological behaviorism. Looking into such would allow the establishment of a taxonomic framework for a better examination of linguistic nativism.

Keywords: empiricist view; general strategies; nativist view; domain-neutral; empiricist model; Noam Chomsky; natural languages

Chapter.  11957 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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