Introduction to Linguistics

As you found out in Chapter 8 of “A Concise Introduction to Linguistics,” there is a critical age at which children must acquire a language. This assignment addresses that issue, using as two case studies Genie and Viktor, of children who failed to reach that stage in time. You are asked to view Secrets of the “Wild Child” and to answer the following question. Use both Chapter 8 of a Concise Introduction to Linguistics and the film Secrets of the Wild Child to answer these questions.

1.Describe Chomsky’s Linguistic Acquisition Device and how it fits into his Innateness Hypothesis of language acquisition (10 points)

2.Describe his Critical Period Hypothesis, based on readings and the film. (10 points)

3.How was Genie discovered by official agencies, and explain how it was that she was unable to acquire a language within a critical period. Describe the circumstances underlying this outcome. (15 points)

4.What symptoms did she display of this failure to acquire language when she was discovered? (15 points)

5.The film speaks of a forbidden experiment. What was that experiment and explain how Viktor, a speechless child discovered in 19th Century France, became a model of that experiment? (15 points)

6.Describe Genie’s long-term language development over the years since her discovery. Was she able to use a language or not over the long term>(20 points}

7.Discuss the ethical implications of research conducted in both cases. Did either child benefit from this research or not, and explain (15 points).

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