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The study of languages is known as psycholinguistics These are studies in terms of verbal and non-verbal communication There are two main theories of language the Learning Theory which branches out into Skinners reinforcement theory and Banduras imitation theory and the Biological theory which branches out into Chomskys innate LAD and Lennenbergs Critical Periods These are theories based on nature or nurture ie whether language is learnt through reinforcement and imitation or whether we are predisposed to acquire language Skinners Learning theory is an example of language being a result of learning He argues that the use or reinforcement in operant conditioning and association building in classical conditioning are important in moulding a young childs verbal behaviour ie babies cous being moulded by adults into words In Skinners theory he suggests 3 ways in which speech is reinforced These are through tact operant conditioning mand classical conditioning and through Echoic response imitation Thus reinforcement plays on important part in language acquisition Research into the importance of parental intervention in language acquisition Motherese has found several key features Adults talk differently to children ie paraphrasing and using repetition They also alter the tone and pitch of voice and use utterances Emphasism on key words and adjusting the length of sentences to make the child understand This is not direct teaching Research into recasting has found that children whose sentences are recast ie doggy eat doggy is eating helped them to produce more complex grammatical speech and a growth in questions such as who what where and why and motherese is adapted to the childs developmental level It has been found that with children trying to correct grammatical mistakes or teach grammar to them had little effect and that the mothers respond to the true value of childs language not in its grammatical correctness Nelson found that mothers or children who corrected grammar developed more slowly and Slobin found that
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