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The literature on language evolution is too large to survey in this article (but see Botha 2003 for an excellent overview and critique).Suffice it to note that as yet, no consensus has emerged as to how innate knowledge of UG might have evolved from whatever preadaptations existed in our ancestors. Of course, this is not in itself a problem for linguistic nativists: formulating and testing hypotheses about human cognitive evolution is a massively difficult enterprise, due largely to the difficulty of finding evidence bearing on one's hypothesis. (See Lewontin 1998 and Sterelny2003:95-116.)
As we saw in §1.1, one of the conclusions Chomsky drew from his (1959) critique of the Skinnerian program was that language cannot belearned by mere association of ideas (such as occurs in conditioning). Since language mastery involves knowledge of grammar, and since grammatical rules are defined over properties of utterancesthat are not accessible to experience, language learning must be morelike theory-building in science. Children appear to be ‘little linguists,’ making highly theoretical hypotheses about the grammar of their language and testing them against the data provided by what others say (and do):
Atlantis Location Hypothesis - Crystalinks
When a volcano erupts, hot molten rock known as magma together with dissolved gases are discharged. Volcanic eruptions normally happen when the pressure and heat inside the core of the earth increases. Volcanoes, therefore, act as avenues for the release of the magma and lava that are held deep within the earth. There are several hypotheses as to what causes a volcano to erupt. This includes pressure from dissolved gases, the buoyancy of the magma and movement of new magma into an already full magma chamber.
The gray bands are often the same composition as the black bands, they just contain more microscopic crystals or bubbles.Based on their model, the researchers suggest that magma pieces of various sizes produced during fragmentation would be carried along in the magma stream and squeezed and stretched into layers, much as intertwined pieces of colored Silly Putty form thin layers of different colors when stretched.The idea that fragmentation might occur in all rising magma came to Gonnermann after he began looking at banded obsidian from lava flows, in particular the flow at northern California's Big Glass Mountain, a volcanic dome containing about 1 cubic kilometer of rhyolite, obsidian and pumice from an effusive eruption.In their paper, the researchers compare three different slices through obsidian from Big Glass Mountain, representing a gradation from rock samples composed of many pieces of fragmented rock to an almost smooth-banded structure with no fragments visible to the naked eye.
The Emperor and Hawaiian Volcanic Chains ..
These insights were to drive linguistic theorizing for the next fiftyyears, and it's worth emphasizing just how radical and exciting they were at the time. First, the idea that explaining language use involves attributing knowledge to speakers flouted the prevailing behaviorist view that talking about mental states was unscientific because mental states are unobservable. It also raised several pressing empirical question that linguists are still debating. For example, what is the content of speakers' knowledge of language? What sorts of facts about language are represented in speakers' heads? And how does this knowledge actually function in the psychological processes of language production and comprehension: what are the mechanisms of language use?
However, argued Chomsky, just as conditioning was too weak a learningstrategy to account for children's ability to acquire language, so too is the kind of inductive inference or hypothesis-testing that goes on in science. Successful scientific theory-building requires huge amounts of data, both to suggest plausible-seeming hypotheses and to weed out any false ones. But the data children haveaccess to during their years of language learning (the ‘primarylinguistic data’ or ‘pld’) are highly impoverished, in two important ways:
What is a hypothesis to why volcanoes erupt
Some scientists think the answer lies locked within the remnants of long-dormant volcanoes. Massive beds of ancient lava found around the world depict an Earth 65 to 70 million years ago where volcanic eruptions were commonplace. According to the volcanism hypothesis, this global-scale volcanic activity spewed so much gas, ash, and dust into the atmosphere that it kept sunlight from reaching Earth's surface.
Is this a proper hypothesis for my sisters volcano project?
The first type of inadequacy is, of course, endemic to any kind of empirical inquiry: it is simply the problem of the underdeterminationof theories by their evidence. Cowie has argued elsewhere that underdetermination per se cannot be taken to be evidence for nativism: if it were, we would have to be nativists about everything that people learn (Cowie 1994; 1999). What of thesecond kind of impoverishment? If the evidence about language available to children does not enable them to reject false hypotheses, and if they nonetheless hit on the correct grammar, then language learning could not be a kind of scientific inquiry, which depends in part on being able to find evidence to weed out incorrect theories. And indeed, this is what Chomsky argues: since the pld are not sufficiently rich or varied to enable a learner to arrive at the correct hypothesis about the grammar of the languageshe is learning, language could not be learned from the pld.
Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano by Alex Arroyo on Prezi
Both hypotheses are adequate to account for the data the learner has so far encountered. To any unbiased scientist, though, H1 would surely appear preferable to H2, for it is simpler — itis shorter, for one thing, and does not refer to theoretical properties, like being a NP, being instead formulated in terms of ‘observable’ properties like word order. Nonetheless, H1 is false, as is evident when you look at examples like (3):
Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano By: Alex Arroyo Purpose ..
Many, probably most theorists in modern linguistics and cognitive science have accepted Chomsky's poverty of the stimulus argument for the innateness of UG. As a result, a commitment to linguistic nativism has underpinned most research into language acquisition overthe last 40-odd years. Nonetheless, it is important to understand what criticisms have been leveled against the argument, which I schematize as follows for convenience:
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