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Nativist Theories of Second Language Acquisition

Essentially, it was an internal language acquire and processor, what Chomsky termed his "Language Acquisition Device (LAD)".

In addition, Chomsky discussed what he termed the Universal Grammar (UG), which was a built-in set of programs that allowed the child to know the rules of syntax before he or she was taught them. According to Chomsky (1965), Universal Grammar involves a set of built-in principles that predisposes children to organize language in a certain way. Essentially, then, the child was not learning strictly from outside input, but was responding to the outside input from an internal system similar to the "instincts" of other animals. In other words, in looking at the evidence, Chomsky and other nativist theorists concluded that the language acquisition that took place was greater and more efficient than seemed warranted by the language training, direct and indirect, that the child received. In the same way that a baby bird seems to simply "know" migration patterns without being taught clearly and directly, baby humans seem to "know" the rules of appropriate syntax. Again, this is a universal, according to Chomsky, not dependent on any particular language or its grammatical set (1975). (Although Chomsky also contended that there are only certain ways in which a language can develop, this is limited by the hard-wiring of the built-in languag


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