Genie

6 June 2017

Controversial topic ot many linguistic discussions. Many songbirds are not capable ot producing comparable songs beyond a certain point (Hauser, Chomsky, & Fitch, 2002). This difficulty is similar to mastering a new language past the critical point in humans (Hauser et al. , 2002). If they are not able to produce coherent melodies, then they also have something similar to our critical period. This shows a correlation of animals and humans concerning the critical period.

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Furthermore, it suggests the importance of aspects such as regulatory and structural genes and how they are hared among vertebrates, leading to how vertebrate brains can acquire large vocabularies of complex, learned sounds (Hauser et al. , 2002). The fact that humans encompass a critical period gives notion to an idea that they cannot fully master a second language beyond this point. There are many factors that may inhibit the second language learning process. The student may experience a series of emotional reactions or affective factors such as boring textbooks or unpleasant classroom settings.

Children on the other hand have not been shown to be affected by such constraints. In good time, they can overcome their self-consciousness as they try to use new words and phrases (Yule, 2010). A study indicates that some adults which were fully capable of speaking a second language were intoxicated with alcohol and found that after a few drinks, their ability to speak the second language greatly deteriorated. (Yule, 2010). The intoxication survey only shows these positive effects while under the influence and the inhibitions return with sobriety (Yule, 2010).

In the critical period, the brain is actively ready to receive input from its surrounding nvironment (G. Westphal, personal Communication, Fall 2010). Children’s brains act as a sponge and anything interacting or reacting becomes its influence before the puberty stage. At the puberty stage, when the brain slows down, children start to form ideas more mature and complex ideas concerning language and thought (Searchinger, 1995b). During the critical period children acquire the grammatical rules of language by themselves without the help any classroom instruction (G. Westphal, personal Communication, Fall 2010).

The study revealed that Genie was onfined in a “potty chair” for most of her life and was subject to severe physical and verbal abuse by her brother, and father; who played a larger role in manipulating the family (Curtiss, 1977). During Genie’s observation, doctors retrieved records that indicated the possibility of a mental defect in her brain since birth. This led to her father’s decision to isolate Genie from the world (Curtiss, 1977). He Justified his actions by claiming that he wanted to protect Genie from the outside world, stating that “The world will never understand” (Curtiss, 1977).

If his claim is true, then her ack of response to language acquisition could have a second explanation. Genie’s inability to successfully communicate and produce language sounds could have been identified as a sort of aphasia (G. Westphal, personal communication, Fall 2010). Genie’s case brings to light several issues in linguistics today, the most important being that Language is a time-sensitive system that concerns itself with thoughts and experiences. The words and sentences that are used to describe what is known, seen, or heard is language that is acquired through every day observation beginning at hildhood

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