NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ897946
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 145
ISSN: ISSN-0889-9401
Three Myths from the Language Acquisition Literature
Schoneberger, Ted
Analysis of Verbal Behavior, v26 p107-131 2010
Three popular assertions have hindered the promotion of an empiricist approach to language acquisition: (a) that Brown and Hanlon (1970) claimed to offer data that parents do not reinforce their children's grammaticality; (b) that Brown and Hanlon also claimed to offer data that parents do not provide negative evidence (i.e., corrective feedback) for ungrammaticality; and (c) that Gold (1967) claimed to offer a formal proof showing that, without negative evidence, a child cannot acquire a language solely from environmental input. In this paper I offer introductory comments on the nature-nurture distinction (including interactionism, and the nativists' claim to have found a gene for language). Next I debunk the three aforementioned assertions by arguing that the authors (Brown & Hanlon; Gold) never made the claims attributed to them; review evidence on the role of reinforcement and corrective feedback in language acquisition; and offer some concluding comments.
Association for Behavior Analysis International. 1219 South Park Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49001. Tel: 269-492-9310; Fax: 269-492-9316; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A