ERIC Number: ED219792
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Problems of a Theory of Language.
Nolte, Edward O.
The problems of fashioning a theory of language fall into two broad areas: (1) the neurophysiological correlates of language behavior are still little understood, and (2) the enormous amount of data on language behavior that has been gathered by researchers is subject to varying and differing interpretations. In spite of these problems, the theories of J. Piaget and N. Chomsky provide promising leads. Chomsky believes that the language acquisition process develops and unfolds from humans' innate capacity for language; that is, the actualization of language in man stems from a structure-dependent activity. The Piagetian view of the ontogenesis of language holds that cellular growth and development of brain cells plus their interaction with the environment form cognitive functions and establish the basis for language behavior. While both men agree that nothing is knowable unless cognitive organization is there from the start and unless the subject acts in some way on the surrounding world, for Chomsky the environment triggers the ontogenesis of language, and for Piaget the environment not only triggers the development of cognitive functions but also continues to interact until biological maturation occurs. If, therefore, environment plays a key role in the ontogenesis of language, composition teachers must strive to create the proper classroom environment for their students. (JL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Chomsky (Noam); Piaget (Jean); Theory Practice Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (33rd, San Francisco, CA, March 18-20, 1982).