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RG

IN CONTEXT

APPROACH

Nativism

BEFORE

1958 B.F. Skinner uses operant conditioning to explain language development, arguing that children learn words and phrases through reinforcement.

1977 Albert Bandura argues that children may imitate the general form of sentences, and fill in these with specific words.

AFTER

1994 Steven Pinker argues that language is an instinct from an innate programme hard-wired in the brain, which arose because it was adaptive for human survival.

2003 Psychologists Stan Kuczaj and Heather Hill claim parents offer children better examples of grammatical sentences than Chomsky suggests.

In the middle of the 20th century, learning theory ...

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