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The theory that there is a critical period for linguistic acquisition may be analysed through the indirect observation of cognitive learning to communicate Whilst there are many human languages all demonstrate a number of universal traits This allows us to theorise that there is a critical period in which individuals may learn a language The most significant comparison to justify this argument is that of a young girl named Genie Through her experience of learning her first language during the maturational stages of her life instead of infancy we can take an insight into the biological and environmental factors in understanding speech Richard Meier 1991 argued through indirect evidence that there was a stage from infancy to maturity in which an individual has the ability to learn a language Studies conducted on individuals conclude that throughout different stages of maturity older individuals of the study were at a disadvantage to learn a second language and allow us to understand that there may be both a biological and psycholinguistic reason It is already understood that children have a greater short-term memory over adults but a decreased attention span which may be attributed to the biological process of neuron growth before puberty and the decreased requirement of older subjects to communicate verbally to fulfill their physical needs to survive Indirectly we can argue that a baby crying is communicating for its physical needs to survive and therefore is the first step in communicating a language There is what is called a linguistic sensitivity in infancy babies can hear all phonetic distinctions especially that of Motherese Motherese consists of a high pitch repetitive voice that is slowed with strong intonations and elevated contours Through this modification in pronunciation we may suggest that infants can accumulate more information about speech and learn more rapidly because they feel secure and are gaining more attention than a mature person would By way of illustration we would
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