LINGUIST List 15.3553
Tue Dec 21 2004
Qs: Critical Period Hypothesis; Protosyllabic Fossils
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Critical Period Hypothesis History
Message 1: Critical Period Hypothesis History
From: Erinn Di Staulo <erinndistaulolemonsplit.com>
Subject: Critical Period Hypothesis History
I'm looking for some opinions regarding the first mention of the Critical
Period Hypothesis or its antecedents in published literature.
Early acquisition studies were very basic and involved very little actual
science in many cases. However, over time, actual theories have developed.
The earliest discussion of a critical period (not necessarily by that name)
is not easily attribuable to one author, although it is part of most current
discussions of first and second language acquisition and the focus of studies of
so-called 'feral' children.
Most pre-Chomsky investigation of acquisition is purely behaviorist in
nature (Skinner, Piaget) and although valid observational conclusions are
drawn, it is unclear if the genesis of the CP hypothesis is to be found in
this type of work.
Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition
Message 2: Protosyllabic Fossils
From: Bart de Boer <b.de.boerAI.RUG.NL>
Subject: Protosyllabic Fossils
As part of my research into the evolution of speech I am interested in what
Jackendoff (in chapter 8 of Foundations of Language) 'Protosyllabic
Fossils'. These are learned and meaningful utterances that do not fit the
honotactics/phonology of a language, such as (Jackendoff's examples) shh,
psst, 'm-hm (yes), 'm-'m (no) and the apical click to express disapporoval
(tsk-tsk). I am interested in the cross-linguistic occurrence and use of
these utterances. Has this been studied before, and if yes what would be
the reference? In any case I am interested in examples of such utterances
in other languages, preferrably non-western ones (as examples of western
languages are more easily obtained).
Bart de Boer
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
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