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Nature and Nurture: Language Acquisition

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An explanation of how nature and nurture interact in the process of language acquisition. Use specific examples and make sure to describe how nature and nurture play a role in building a mental lexicon.

© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 15, 2018, 10:30 pm ad1c9bdddf - https://brainmass.com/psychology/language-and-cognition/nature-nurture-language-acquisition-474687

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(1) An explanation of how nature and nurture interact in the process of language acquisition.

The nature vs. nurture debate is drawn on opposing beliefs in which one position (nature) suggests that individuals are shaped by nature, while the other position (nurture) holds that individuals are shaped by environmental factors (e.g. one's social environment). Based on the nature versus nurture controversy, the IQ has been the focus of much of the discussion concerning language development and the influence on language acquisition. For example, concerning most theories of language development the focus has been on environmental inputs. However, according to Van Hulle, Goldsmith, & Lemery (2004), recent attention has been given to the role of innate, biological system related to speech and language. For instance, studies are presented to indicate that language is a learned behavior based on interactions that is similar to other complex human activities (e.g., McCabe, l989). From the perspective of nature, the human brain is predisposed in various linguistic ways reflecting how people rely on general intellectual capacities. In addition, early studies emphasize the importance of genetic factors associated with children communication performances that are related to the IQ of the child's biological mother as opposed to the IQ of the adoptive mother (Plomin, DeFries, & Fulker, 1988 as cited in Van Hulle et al., 2004).

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The solution explains how nature and nurture interact in the process of language acquisition.

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