Fillmore: discussion & criticism
It is interesting to note that Segalowitz also sees in Fillmore's grammar the possibility of a closer union between linguistics and psychology in regard to the understanding of the language-thought relationship. His criticism of Fillmore's approach is that, radical though it is in using "explicitly psychological aspects of language", it doesn't go far enough -- it is "still subordinated to the task of relating surface structures to each other (Segalowitz 1970: 15).
Indeed, Fillmore devotes comparatively little attention to the non-linguistic analysis of his case categories, concentrating rather on their relationship to surface structure. Even the definitions of these categories are all predicated on something called which for some reason is left undefined in terms of cognitive structure. The definitions, moreover, leave something to be desired in terms of their relationship to the overall cognitive structure. One category that appears to be missing entirely is that expressed in the initial component of 'copula' sentences () -- a category that might possibly be termed, for want of a better expression, the Another discrepancy is that determiners are introduced into the deep-structure phrase markers without any statement as to their origin or semantic correspondence. All of which means in effect that Fillmore's theory is not fully satisfactory as a model for language acquisition.
Segalowitz () focuses on the concept of inherent in Fillmore's grammar as a "specific property of language" that could be significant to the relation of language to thought. In the matter of action-object relationships, an interesting comparison may be found in a discussion of primordial development of thought and language in the human species by the Russian psychologist-anthropologist A. A. Leont'ev (1963). In Leont'ev's view, the very first step in the development of thought beyond the level of the pre-human ape was the "separation of action from object"  (1963: 50). We might also speak of the Another major step in this development described by Leont'ev was the subsequent separation of a generalised concept of an object from its individual manifestation (1963: 119-21). We believe that these two primary mental processes Leont'ev proposes may contribute toward an alternative theory to McNeill's regarding language acquisition in the young child.
McNeill: discussion & criticism
It is worth noting that these 'basic grammatical relations', allocated by Chomskyan transformational theory to the level of 'deep structure' (or semantic interpretation -- cf. Chomsky 1965: 136), are still from surface structure and continue to owe their existence as relations to the external structure of human language. They are linguistic, and not psychological concepts. (What could be the meaning of for example, outside the context of actual language?) Yet the implication of McNeill's theory is that children begin constructing utterances from these innate 'basic grammatical relations', with somehow being plugged into them along the way.
Frank Smith's recently published study on the reading process (1971) includes some useful insights on the nature of language development in children. The following paragaph gives an interesting contrast to the order of learning implied by McNeill (Smith 1971: 52): "Contrary to popular ... belief, the child is not learning words and then finding meanings for them. Instead he is acquiring or inventing words ... to meet his own particular requirements and represent meanings which he Would not this relative order of learning extend to all aspects of surface structure, including the 'basic grammatical relations'?
Charles Fillmore apparently thinks so. In his discussion and rejection of "earlier approaches to the study of [grammatical] case" he criticises Redden's analysis of Walapai on the grounds that the meaning or 'functions' of cases "are not taken as primary terms in the description" but merely fitted into the framework of already identified surface-structure forms (Fillmore 1968: 9). He further finds "reasons for questioning the deep-structure validity of the traditional division between subject and predicate, a division which is assumed by some to underlie the basic form of all sentences in all languages"
Another attack on the use of surface structure as a starting-point for probing the language-thought relationship has come from psychologist Norman Segalowitz, who argues as follows (1970: 14):
Skinner's theories attracted a number of critics, not the least among them (1959), who penned a highly critical review of . Some years later, however, (1970) published a reply to Chomsky's review in which he eloquently and quite convincingly defended Skinner's points of view. And so the battle raged on. Today few linguists and psychologists would agree that Skinner's model of verbal behavior adequately accounts for the capacity to acquire language, for language development itself, for the abstract nature of language, and for a theory of meaning. A theory based on conditioning and reinforcement is hard-pressed to explain the fact that every sentence you speak or write -- with a few trivial exceptions -- is novel, never before uttered either by you or by anyone else! These novel utterances are nevertheless created by the speaker and processed by the hearer.
This is an inherit characteristic of the humans
Competence performance model has not meet with universal acceptance.
Major criticism focus on the notion that competence.
Stubbs said that dualisms are unnecessary, and the only option for linguists is to study language in use.
All of a child’s or adult’s slips and hesitations and self-corrections are connected to what Tarone calls heterogeneous competence (abilities that are in process of being formed).
Comprehension and production are aspects of performance and competence.
SUPERIORITY OF COMPREHENSION OVER PRODUCTION
Children seem to understand more than they actually produce.
SUPERIORITY OF PRODUCTION OVER COMPREHENSION
Gathercole reported on a number of studies in which children were able to produce certain aspects of language they could not comprehend.
In conclusion, all aspects of linguistic comprehension precede and facilitate linguistic production
Nature means by teaching
Nurture means innate
Nativists contend that a child is born with an innate knowledge of or predisposition toward language, this innate property is universal in all human beings.
But innateness hypothesis presented a number of problems itself.
In the other hand we have environmental factors.
Derek Bickerton said that human beings are bioprogrammed to release certain properties of language at certain developmental ages, proceeding from stage to stage.
The Behaviorist Approach:
a clean slate bearing no preconceived notions about the world or about the language
Language: a central characteristic of the human behavior.
Effective language behavior
the creation of proper responses to the stimuli
One such set of questions was found in a generative approach to child language known as the approach. The term nativistderived from the fundamental assertion that language acquisition is innately determined, that we are born with a built-in device of some kind that predisposes us to language acquisition-to a systematic perception of language around us, resulting in the construction of an internalized system of language. Innateness hypotheses gained support from several sides. (1967)proposed that language is a "species-specific" behavior and that certain modes of perception, categorizing abilities, and other language-related mechanisms are biologically determined. Chomsky (1965)similarly claimed the existence of innate proper ties of language to explain the child's mastery of his native language in such a short time despite the highly abstract nature of the rules of language. This innate knowledge, according to Chomsky, is embodied in a "little black box" of sorts, a anguage acquisition device(). McNeill described LAD as consisting of four innate linguistic properties: ¶UKT
There have been two main thrusts in attempts to explain how children learn to talk. On the one hand, it was proposed that the course of language development depends directly on the nature of the linguistic system and, more specifically, on the nature of those aspects of language that might be universal and represented in an innate, predetermined program for language learning. On the other hand, evidence began to accrue to support a different hypothesis which emphasized the interaction of the child's perceptual and cognitive development with linguistic and nonlinguistic events in his environment.
Chomsky (1965) likened competence to an "idealized" speaker-hearer who does not display such performance variables as memory limitations, distractions, shifts of attention and interest, errors, and hesitation phenomena such as repeats, false starts, pauses, omissions, and additions. (Maclay and Osgood [1959:24] outline a diverse number of hesitation types.) Chomsky's point was that a theory of language had to be a theory of competence lest the linguist vainly try to categorize an infinite number of performance variables which are not reflective of the underlying linguistic ability of the speaker-hearer.
Some have done so, though Chomsky himself has now abandoned these. Chomsky is not a Structuralist, and there is more to understanding than the. Lamb charted language as networks of relationships. By using. a very simple set of . Reich used. computer modelling to simulate this approach and.
The competence-performance model has not met with universal acceptance. Major criticisms of the model focus on the notion that competence, as defined by Chomsky, consists of the abilities of an "idealized" hearer-speaker, devoid of any so-called performance variables. [Stubbs (1996), reviewing the issue, reminded us of the position of British linguists Firth and Halliday: dualisms are unnecessary, and the only option for linguists is to study language in use. -- UKT note:This line is from 4th ed.] As Tarone (1988) points out, such views disclaim responsibility for a number of linguistic goofs and slips of the tongue that may well arise from the within which a person is communicating. In other words, every single one of a child's (or adult's) slips and hesitations and self-corrections are potentially connected to what Tarone calls heterogeneous competence – abilities that are in the process of being formed. So, while we may be tempted to claim that the five-year-old quoted above knows the difference, say, between a "hole" and a "hoyle," we must not too quickly pass off the latter as an irrelevant slip of the tongue.
Chomsky contended that the child is born with an innate knowledge of or predisposition toward language, and that this innate property (the LAD or UG) is universal in all human beings. The innateness hypothesis was a possible resolution of contradiction between the behavioristic notion that language is a set of habits that can be acquired by a process of conditioning and the fact that such conditioning is much too slow and inefficient a process to account for the acquisition of a phenomenon as complex as language.
One of the champions of the position that language affects thought was Benjamin Whorf, who with Edward Sapir formed the well-known Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of linguistic relativity -- namely, that each language imposes on its speaker a particular "world view." (See Chapter Seven for more discussion of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.)