my own experiences

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Of all the topics cover in this course so far, I think the topic most likely to stick with me is the development of language. Originally, I just figured small children learn language because they imitate their parents or society. However, in class we discovered that infants have an innate ability to detect language. The experiment that determined infants have the ability to pick up subtle changes in phonemes while adults could not tell the difference. The chapter also explained how there is a deaf community somewhere (don't remember where) that came up with their own unique language to communicate with each other. Communication of some sort, whether it be written, spoken, or just plain gestures, is necessary for a community to strive. However, it never occurred that we, as humans, are genetically born with the ability to learn language. Scientists haven't found the function of all the genes yet, so it astonishes me that a gene designated to the innate ability to communicate through language is a foreign topic to me. Hence why it will remain with me for the years to come.


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I agree that cognitive development is one of the most fascinating subjects discussed in the course. In my opinion the most interesting aspect of language development are the ideas of linguistic determinism and linguistic relativity, which posits that our language shapes our thought processes. It is almost strange to think that our words might influence our thoughts, and not the other way around. For example, the textbook discussed how certain languages don't have equivalent words for all the colors we identify in English, like the Dani people of New Guinea, who only express color in terms of "light" and "dark."

I agree that the humans ability to learn language is one of the great feats of human development. However, I believe the ability to communicate is the most amazing part because it refers to both those who can hear and the hearing impaired.

I think our ability to communicate through language is something many of us take for granted. I think we're beginning to see a decline in language resulting from the ease technology has brought us. Text messages become shorter and more abbreviated all the time and while they can still get a message across, I think we are beginning to lose the wonderful opportunity we have to express things beautifully through language.

I also thought this part of the text was especially interesting. At the same time though, one of the more difficult to conceptualize. I found the studies of Chomsky about linguistics to be interesting, but some of the more abstract ideas we encountered in the class. I am not sure I agree with these theories, but they are still intriguing.

I found it amazing that deaf people would form some form of language on their own. It's amazing what the mind is able to do own its own. I also found it amazing that after several years when we develop our own phonemes and then we basically have our own language.

The development and learning of language is very interesting. How people adapt to their situation (i.e. the deaf community) and earn to communicate is amazing. Nice post.

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This page contains a single entry by giord023 published on May 2, 2012 11:53 PM.

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