CORE 115S - Language Acquisition
Explores how infants and adults acquire native and foreign languages. What goes on in the brains of new-born infants before they discover the meanings of words? What might be the linguistic and social consequence of acquiring an English dialectal accent, distinguishing or not distinguishing between Mary, merry, and marry? Why do some adults succeed in learning a second language, while others do not? Why are some Japanese unable to tell the difference between rice and lice? When a girl has had no contact with a language speaking community, is she able to acquire her first language after puberty? Are bonobo chimpanzees able to learn human language? Students read books and articles that address these issues, watch films and have some direct experience of learning a difficult second language. Physiological, linguistic, psychological, and social factors that determine whether one succeeds or fails to acquire native and foreign languages are discussed.
Major/Minor Restrictions: None
Class Restriction: No Junior, Senior
Area of Inquiry: None
Liberal Arts CORE: Scientific Perspectives
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