Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Linguists are Funny
(Or maybe just punny, but it suits my familial sense of humor.)

I came across the following passage in Bilingualism in Development (33,) in a discussion about the differences between formalist and functionalist theories of language acquistion, and theories that try to bridge the gap.
An early acknowledgement of the need to approach language acquisition from both sides was submitted by Bruner (1983). He proposed that the language acquistion device (LAD), the engine of learning for generative linguistics, is accompanied by a language acquisition support system (LASS), the social, interactive, and cognitive structures that bring the child to language, assure that appropriate interactions take place, and present the information to the child's conceptual system in ways that are clearly interpretable and conducive to learning.
Note the stereotypical gender roles associated with each system. Typically, it appears the LASS is doing the brunt of the communicative work...

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