View Full Version : Is language instinctual or learned?


mildadhd
09-11-17, 08:38 PM
Is language instinctual or learned?




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mildadhd
09-11-17, 08:50 PM
My biological parents/ancestors spoke Gaelic.

But I have never met my biological parents/ancestors, and i do not know how to speak Gaelic.

If language was instinctual, I would be able speak Gaelic even though I have never met my biological parents/ancestors.

So in my opinion language is learned.







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Abi
09-11-17, 09:59 PM
Learned.

There are stories about children who were maltreated , isolated in basements with little human contact or brought up with monkeys etc. in their formative years.

They never learnt to speak, they would grunt like animals and usually were never able to learn to speak even when re-integrated into civilisation.

Fuzzy12
09-12-17, 12:56 AM
As far as I know, the drive to speak and to acquire language is instinctual but the actual language is learnt.

userguide
09-12-17, 08:28 PM
Learned.

There are stories about children who were maltreated , isolated in basements with little human contact or brought up with monkeys etc. in their formative years.

They never learnt to speak, they would grunt like animals and usually were never able to learn to speak even when re-integrated into civilisation.

If I remember well, the best researched example (the girl in USA who was found closed in a farm and didn't speak ) was inconclusive here.


It's quite similar with gait pattern - we are pre-wired to walk like we do, but it needs some training to work.
There are old experiments with semi-dead cats who could still zombie-walk in an organized way, when their neurons were stimulated.

And the little girl in India who was found in the jungle couldn't learn to walk like human, she moved on 4 limbs and didn't speak either.


@mild: I think the fact I can learn Chinese but I will find it hard to do so is the answer

EDIT: I just saw it's a spin-off poll from anoher big-barrel thread :)

mildadhd
09-12-17, 11:21 PM
As far as I know, the drive to speak and to acquire language is instinctual but the actual language is learnt.

I think I was wrong.

I think you are right.

Environments and Genetic mechanisms. (Epigenetic Inheritance)



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