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Corresponding author: 2 to puberty by Lenneberg (1967).

Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH henceforth) affects the educational policy-making of foreign language teaching.

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Criticism of the Critical Period Hypothesis

The crucial question of 'whether the difference between child and adult learners can be explained by the difference of their biological mechanisms for language learning' is still open.

Although she doesn't know it, she is basing her statement on the Critical Period Hypothesis.
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In this area of study, Johnson and Newport (1989) is among the most prominent and leading studies which tries to seek evidence to test the Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH) in second language (L2) acquisition.

'Biological Foundations of Language and Hemispheric Dominance'.

The critical period hypothesis was most prominently advanced by Lenneberg.
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Many studies seem to have proven that the critical hypothesis exists because apparently no adult after puberty has been successful in achieving native-like proficiency.

After eleven years of isolation and abuse, Genie was discovered possessing no known language, having already passed what has theorized to be the critical period.

Biological Foundations of Language.

Lenneberg (1967) and Slobin (1971:60) illustrate that anarthric people can acquire a language.
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We are “incited and inclined” but not “compelled,” in Cartesian terminology. These are not matters restricted to language, by any means. The issue is put graphically by two leading neuroscientists who study voluntary motion, Emilio Bizzi and Robert Ajemian. Reviewing the current state of the art, they observe that we are beginning to understand something about the puppet and the strings, but the puppeteer remains a total mystery. Because of its centrality to our lives, and its critical role in constructing, expressing and interpreting thought, the normal use of language illustrates these mysterious capacities in a particularly dramatic and compelling way. That is why normal language use, for Descartes, was a primary distinction between humans and any animal or machine, and a basis for his mind-body dualism – which, contrary to what is often believed, was a legitimate and sensible scientific hypothesis in his day, with an interesting fate.

NC: I wasn’t the person who put it to rest. Far from it. Isaac Newton did. Early modern science, from Galileo and his contemporaries, was based on the principle that the world is a machine, a much more complex version of the remarkable automata then being constructed by skilled craftsmen, which excited the scientific imagination of the day, much as computers and information processing do today. The great scientists of the time, including Newton, accepted this “mechanical philosophy” (meaning the science of mechanics) as the foundation of their enterprise. Descartes believed he had pretty much established the mechanical philosophy, including all the phenomena of body, though he recognized that some phenomena lay beyond its reach, including, crucially, the “creative aspect of language use” described above. He therefore, plausibly, postulated a new principle – in the metaphysics of the day, a new substance, res cogitans, thinking substance, mind. His followers devised experimental techniques to try to determine whether other creatures had this property, and like Descartes, were concerned to discover how the two substances interacted.

'A critical Period for Learning to Pronounce Foreign Language?' Applied Linguistics.
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  • Critical Period Hypothesis & Language Acquisition by …

    The topics covered are firstly, the biological aspects, the contribution of the human brain to language development....

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    They use the term 'sensitive period,' rather than 'critical period,' for second language acquisition.

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    'The critical age for language acquisition: evidence from second language learning'.

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Eric Lenneberg-Critical period hypothesis;

Through examining Genie’s diagnosed mental retardation and dichotic testing, we can draw conclusions from her physical abuse and social isolation as it pertains to language development during the critical period....

Lenneberg's Critical Period Hypothesis ebook by …

After 11 years of isolation and abuse Genie was discovered possessing no known language, having already passed what was theorized to be the critical period.

critical period hypothesis lenneberg pdf

He comes out with his own phonological translation hypothesis and says:I would like to propose that a tendency by mature speakers to interpret sounds occurring in a foreign language in terms of sounds found in their native language may be a more important cause of foreign accent than any limitation on phonetic learning imposed by neurophysiological maturation.Aitchison's classification (1989:67) of some 'hallmarks' based on Lenneberg (1967) also draws a line between phonetic and grammatical acquisition.

English Language - Child Language Development - Eric Lenneberg

The notion of multiple critical periods also hints at the need of distinguishing acquisition of phonology and phonetics.All of these points suggest that language teachers should distinguish teaching of pronunciation and grammar, and that they should take different teaching approaches when necessary.

Language/ “critical period hypothesis”/ Noam Chomsky “LAD ..

It is clear that her output is more constrained by her own phonological 'realization' rules than by her inability to articulate the sounds and sound sequences of English.This shows that, even in an abnormal case of language acquisition, children's phonological competence and their phonetic performance need to be differentiated carefully.

Eric Lenneberg critical period hypothesis

There is a debate over whether or not ID speech helps infants acquire language or is a hindrance in their language acquisition process Several experiments have been performed to test the effect of ID speech on infants’ language learning....

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