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Nature vs nurture a time old debate

Mohammed Shanawaz Nature vs. Nurture Debate 1 Nature vs.

  • New research into epigenetics—the science of how the environment influences genetic expression—is changing the conversation;
  • If that exposure has some sort of epigenetic effect on you, the prospect that your great-great grandchildren might be influenced by your experience is somewhat worrisome.

Nurture Debate 2 Abstract How humans possess the language ability is a matter of long controversy among the linguists. Some of them believe that the ability of language is the result of innate knowledge. Unlike other species humans possess that innate ability which is genetically coded. To them language is the outcome of nature genes. Conversely, others claim that the ability of language is learned through experience extracting all the linguistic information from the outside environment.

Nurture Debate 3 Nature vs. God punished mankind for the hubris of building this tower by turning their one universal language into dozens of different languages. Well, we do not know whether the story as a whole is a fact or fiction and which is also not the matter of concern here.

What noteworthy in the story is the significance of language among humans.

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Truly, how significant the language is for us! Language is arguably the most unique feature of humans that distinguishes them from any other living species. Other animals lack that ability of language. Barber 1997 further says about the significance of language: It is language, more obviously than anything else, that distinguishes humankind from rest of the animal world. At one time it was common to define a human as a thinking animal, but we can hardly imagine thought without words — no thought that is at all precise, anyway.

More recently, humans have often been described as tool-making animals: The most primitive tools, admittedly, may have come earlier than language: But tools of any greater sophistication demand the kind of human co-operation and division of labour which is hardly possible without language.

Language, in fact, is the great machine-tool which makes human culture possible.

What Makes Us Do It?

Nurture Debate 4 So, language is the most significant remarkable tool that humans possess unlike any other living species. But, question could raise that how we, humans acquire that ability of language which other species cannot. It is a matter of long controversy among the linguists that how humans possess the language ability.

  • New research into epigenetics—the science of how the environment influences genetic expression—is changing the conversation;
  • Moore explains in his newest book, The Developing Genome, this burgeoning field reveals that what counts is not what genes you have so much as what your genes are doing;
  • This is all still poorly understood, but it makes it an exciting time to be doing research in this area;
  • Maybe this Nature vs;
  • How does the science of epigenetics change the seemingly age-old nature versus nurture debate?
  • What they found was that it was the perinatal experience that made all the difference.

We find different approaches regarding language acquisition. Some of the linguists believe that the language ability is the result of innate knowledge. These linguists believe that language is the outcome of nature genes. The difference between these innate and learned approaches to language acquisition or the ability of language that humans possess is known as nature vs.

Nature vs. Nurture

The study will short the debate out logically investigating whether nature or nurture or little bit of both play a vital role in language acquisition. It is generally the idea that language acquisition is an innate ability of humans. A modern variant would be that certain aspects of our knowledge and understanding are innate, part of our biological endowment, genetically Nature vs. Nurture Debate 5 determined, on a par with the elements of our common nature that cause us to grow arms and legs rather than wings.

This version of the classical doctrine is, I think, essentially correct. Innate is something which is already there in mind since birth. They also claim that the underlying principle of language is deeply rooted in human brain.

It is genetically coded among humans since birth unlike other living species. This enable us to possess the unique language ability which is absent among other species. UG basically asserts that underlying all the different languages there are some basic principles. According to him, LAD allows a child to pick up the underlying grammatical principles of the language concerned.

Chomsky often calls the innate knowledge of language by language faculty considering this as a biologically autonomous system in the brain that has an initial state which is genetically determined. Nativists further claims about the innateness of the language ability that humans possess: The fact that every known human culture developed some sort of language suggests that there is a genetic basis for the ability to construct and produce language.

Furthermore all human languages seem to have Nature vs. Nurture Debate 6 some characteristics in common. They all have large vocabularies of words whose meaning is mediated through a phonological system, they all have a grammatical system that governs the way in which words are combined and they change through time by adding new words and losing old ones. Empiricists believe that children learn the language by extracting all the linguistic information from the environment.

To then language acquisition is all about habit formation and the outcome of nurture.

This approach is also an ancient one, going back at least to Aristotle, but in modern times it is closely associated with the psychologist B. According to Skinner, there are no limits to what a human being can become, given time, opportunity and the application of very general laws of learning.

Humans are capable of language because we have the time, the opportunity and perhaps the computing power that is required to learn 50,000 words and the associations that link those words together. To them language acquisition is similar as any other learning process related to cognitive development.

They also claim that the beneficial quality of language is Nature vs. Nurture Debate 7 responsible for the ubiquitous distribution. People who came in contact with it, adopted it because of its beneficial effects and in this way, language spread across the earth. Not all linguists believe that the innate capacities are most important in language learning. Some researchers place greater emphasis on the influence of usage and experience in language acquisition.

They argue that adults play an important role in language acquisition by speaking to children—often in a slow, grammatical and repetitious way. In turn, children discern patterns in the language and experiment with speech gradually—uttering single words at first and eventually stringing them together to construct abstract expressions. At first glance, this may seem reminiscent of how language is traditionally taught in classrooms.

But most scientists think children and adults learn language differently. While they may not do it as quickly and easily as children seem to, adults can learn to speak new languages proficiently. nature vs nurture a time old debate

What Makes Us Do It?

However, few would be mistaken for a native speaker of the non-native tongue. Childhood may be a critical period for mastering certain aspects of language such as proper pronunciation.

What factors account for the different language learning capabilities of adults and children? We cannot ignore the fact that human behavior is actually a collaboration of both genetic and environmental aspects. Maybe this Nature vs. Nurture Debate 8 true for language acquisition as well. In contrast, nurture can be defined as the different environmental factors to which a person is subjected from birth to death.

Environmental factors involve many dimensions. They include both physical environments a good example is prenatal nutrition and social environments such as the neighborhood, media and peer pressure.

The End of Nature Versus Nurture

Also, environmental factors have different levels of impact on human development as they involve multiple layers of action, ranging from most immediate families, friends, and neighborhoods to bigger societal contexts school systems and local governments as well as macro factors such as politics on the international level or say global warming.

The innate knowledge of language faculty that children are born with is not enough to acquire language unless they trigger or get output from the outside environment.

Nurture Debate 10 References Barber, C. On The Nature and Nurture of Language. Retrieved August 09, 2011, from http: Language and problems of knowledge. Chomsky's Theories on Language. Retrieved August 10, 2011, from http: