Nature vs. Nurture in Language Development

Last Updated: 25 Mar 2023
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What is Language? Language is a tool we have been using to understand and develop our thinking. We have been: Learning about the thinking of others by reading Expressing our own thinking through writing Exchanging ideas with others by speaking and listening Thought and language can contribute to clear, effective thinking and communication. Language is a system of symbols for thinking and communicating. At 5 years of age human is expected to have; Articulated speech, Vocabulary of more than 6000 words and Observe grammar rules.

An Average speaker is expected to have; 150 words per minute, 20,000 and 40,000 alternatives and error rates below 0. 1%. There are two theories concerning Nature or Rationalism in Language and these are the Nativism and Child Talk model of Chapman et al. (1992). In the child talk theory the child’s needs will enable him to formulate speech based on his past experiences. Nature or rationalist theory is based on the following study by prominent people in human history: 1. PLATO knowledge and understanding:

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  • innate
  • biological
  • genetically
  • common nature

Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650) Ideas existed within human beings prior to experience.  God ability of the environment and the mind to influence and initiate behavior reflex action (unintended behaviors) 3. Kant (1724-1804) “A priori” knowledge as illustrated below. 4. CHOMSKY The Nativist Perspective: Human beings are born with an innate capacity for language. Universal Grammar An innate property of the human mind Growth of language is analogous to the development of a bodily organ Abstract that it could not be learned at all

Principles of UG:

1. Language is innate

2. Our brains contain a dedicated special-purpose learning device that has evolved for language alone. * domain specificity, autonomy or modularity Nurture states that knowledge originates in the environment and comes in through the senses. This theory is called Empiricism defines as the importance of sensory experience as the basis of all knowledge. Empiricism is otherwise known as the doctrine that says sense experience is the only source of knowledge, a belief that experience alone is the source of all knowledge.

Empiricism is essentially a theory of knowledge which asserts that all knowledge is derived from sense experience. It rejects the notion that the mind is furnished with a range of concepts or ideas prior to experience. Three principal British philosophers who are associated with empiricism are John Locke (1632-1704), George Berkeley (1685-1753), and David Hume (1711-76). in philosophy, a doctrine that affirms that all knowledge is based on experience, and denies the possibility of spontaneous ideas or a priori thought. Empiricism (greek ? from empirical, latin experientia - the experience) is generally regarded as being at the heart of the modern scientific method, that our theories should be based on our observations of the world rather than on intuition or faith; that is, empirical research and a posteriori inductive reasoning rather than purely deductive logic.

Other basis of empiricism are:

1. ARISTOTLE * Truth and knowledge to be found outside of ourselves by using our senses.

2. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778) * Emile: the hero learns about life through his experiences in life

3. John Dewey (1859 – 1952) * Structured experience matters and disciplinary modes of inquiry could allow the development of the mind.

4. Edward Thorndike (1874 – 1949) STIMULUS - RESPONS

E people learned through a trial-and-error approach mental connections are formed through positive responses to particular stimuli learning was based on an association between sense impressions and an impulse to action structure the environment to ensure certain stimuli that would ‘produce’ learning 5. Psychologist B. F.

Skinner (behaviorism or associationism) 3 needs for language formation: time opportunity computing power Skinner further explains that learning is the production of desired behaviors without any influence of mental processes. Programmed learning is positive reinforcement for “correct” responses Let us now bridge the gap between nature and nurture. Learning is a developmental cognitive process, human create/construct knowledge. There are three theories involved in this process; constructivism, progressivism and language acquisition theory.

We will discuss first constructivism , the following diagrams will show us.

Diagram 1: Psychologist Jean Piaget proposed two kind of interaction: * Simple interactions: putting together * Emergentism: adding more to what was put together The first box shows simple interaction while the second box shows emergentism.

Diagram 2 shows us how the brain is constructed with interaction to the environment.

Diagram 2: Vygotsky (1896 – 1934) states that all learning occurs in a cultural context and involves social interactions.

The zone of proximal development (ZPD)learn subjects best just beyond their range of existing experience with assistance from the teacher or another peer to bridge the distance from what they know or can do independently and what they can know or do with assistance (Schunk, 1996) “scaffolding” that help students learn in systematic ways. This is illustrated further illustrated in diagram 3. To Piaget there are three element involved in interaction the structured environment, the senses and the brain. Vygotsky added one more element nother human being that makes now the elements of interaction four namely structured environment, the senses, another human being and the brain.

Diagram 3: Second theory in bridging the gap is Progressivism which emphases on both experience and thinking or reflection as a basis for learning explore, discover, construct, and create. Emergentist (Tomasello & Call, 1997) said that there is something innate in the human brain that makes language possible, something that we do with a large and complex brain that evolved to serve the many complex goals of human society and culture.

A new machine built out of old parts, reconstructed from those parts by every human child. ( contrast to domain specificity ).

Diagram 4 will show us people cannot create something from nothing. People can create but from something already there. The picture on the left is the nurtured face while the picture on the right is the natural face.

Diagram 4: LAD THEORY ( Language Acquisition Device ) Chomsky regards linguistics as a subfield of psychology, more especially the cognitive psychology.

The Language Acquisition Device: Chomsky argues that language is so complex that it is almost incredible that it can be acquired by a child in so short a time. He further says that a child is born with some innate mental capacity which helps the child to process all the language which he hears. This is called the quot;Language Acquisition Devicequot; (LAD). Chomsky and his followers claim that language is governed by rules, and is not a haphazard thing, as Skinner and his followers would claim. We must remember that when Chomsky talks about rules, he means the unconscious rules in a child's mind.

A child constructs his own mental grammar which is a part of his cognitive framework. These rules enable him to produce grammatical sentences in his own language. Chomsky does not mean that child can describe these rules explicitly. For instance, a four or five year old child can produce a sentence like, I have taken meal, he can do that because he has a 'mental grammar' which enables him to form correct present perfect structures and also to use such structures in the right or appropriate situation. Language learning Input Mental grammar Is an (own rules) Innate ability LAD

Grammatical Output sentencesChomsky suggests that the learner of any language has an inbuilt learning capacity for language that enables each learner to construct a kind of personal theory or set of rules about the language based on very limited exposure to language. John Watson / Behaviorism A branch of psychology that bases its observations and conclusions on definable and measurable behavior and on experimental methods, rather than on concept of ;quot;mind. “ Behaviorism is a psychological theory first put forth by John Watson (1925), and then expounded upon by BF Skinner.

Attempting to answer the question of human behavior, proponents of this theory essentially hold that all human behavior is learned from one's surrounding context and environment.

Diagram 5 shows the imitation process Children start out as clean slates and language learning is process of getting linguistic habits printed on these slates Language Acquisition is a process of experience Language is a ‘conditioned behavior’: the stimulus response process Stimulus – Response, Feedback – Reinforcement Diagram 5:

SUMMARY Rationalism ( Bloomfield & Noam Chomsky ) states the nativist or innateness where children must be born with an innate capacity for language development. Children are born with an innate propensity for language acquisition, and that this ability makes the task of learning a first language easier than it would otherwise be. The human brain is ready naturally for language in the sense when children are exposed to speech, certain general principles for discovering or structuring language automatically begin to operate.

Constructivism ( Jean Piaget ) proponent of cognitive theory which introduced that language Acquisition must be viewed within the context of a child’s intellectual development. Linguistic structures will emerge only if there is an already established cognitive foundation. The earliest period of language learning (up to 18 months), relating to the development of what Piaget called ‘sensory motor’ intelligence, in which children construct a mental picture of a world of objects that have independent existence.

During the later part of this period, children develop a sense of object permanence and will begin to search for the objects that they have seen hidden. This is further emphasized by Vygotsky in his socio-cultural approach to knowledge. Another theory by C. A. Ferguson (1977) known as the Input Theory claiming that parents do not talk to their children in the same way as they talk to other adults and seem to be capable of adapting their language to give the child maximum opportunity to interact and learn.


  1. Pinel, JJ (2011) Biopsychology; Eighth Edition, Allyn& Bacon. Nature versus nurture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Nature_versus_nurturePowell, K. (n. d. ).
  2. Nature vs Nurture – How heredity and environment shape who we are. Retrieved from http://genealogy. about. com/cs/geneticgenealogy/a/nature_nurture. htmPowell, K. ().
  3. Nature vs Nurture - how heredity and environment shape who we are. Retrieved from http://genealogy. about. com/cs/geneticgenealogy/a/nature_nurture_2. htm

Analyze the Nature vs. Nurture Essay

One of the most enduring debates in the field of psychology is the controversial idea of nature vs. nurture. Throughout the endless history of the debate, no clear conclusion has been met, only hypotheses have been formed. At the center of the debate, human behaviors, ideas, and feelings are being determined, whether they are learned or inherited. Determining physical traits, such as eye color or hair color, are simple because they are hereditary traits. The idea of having a certain personality, intelligence, or ability is under discussion because scientists cannot determine if these traits are learned, or predetermined by genes.

The nature side of the debate argues that human behaviors are formed based on genetics. This means an individual’s environment plays no role in determining physiological and intellectual ability. Conversely, the nurture side of the debate argues that a person’s environment plays a large role in determining physiological and intellectual ability. Considering the large effect an individual’s surroundings and environment has on that individual’s life, this side of the debate should be taken seriously.

Both sides of the controversy have been explored thoroughly among scientists, and overwhelming evidence has been found in favor of both hypotheses. In this notorious disagreement, the most compelling argument suggests that an individual develops his or her behaviors, values, intelligence, and personality based on the environment and surroundings he or she lives and grows up in. This paper will summarize the ideas of behaviorism, identical twin studies, homosexuality, and the development of disease as explored. John B. Watson, a psychologist and strong proponent of environmental learning, once said, “Give me a dozen healthy infants and my own specific world to bring them up in, and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select - doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant, chef and yes, even beggar and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors" (Powell, “Nature vs. Nurture). This famous quotation is often referred to when considering behaviorism.

Although no psychologist would accept this position today due to the advances in our education and technology, this view would be regarded as an environmental “nurture” view. Children used to be considered “blank slates,” onto which anything could be sculpted through environmental experience. Although genetics do play a role in creating traits for an individual, I believe this quote is well said and a great example of the nurture side of the debate. Another “nurture” advocate, Carolyn Csongrodi, says: “I believe that without any experience, the human mind is a “white paper,” invalid of all characteristics and ideas (Csongradi).

Each aspect of behavior is acquired from the environment, she says. These environmental factors determine who we become, the nurture side argues. Experiments and studies have been created and completed in hope to determine whether or not this debate is truly based on nature characteristics or nurture characteristics. I will explore such experiments that involve identical twins, homosexuals, and disorders. A key part of this debate is the studies of identical twins. In a review of two books on the subject by Howard Gruber, he explains the importance of twins: “Identical twins have the exact same heredity.

If they are reared together, their similarities may be due to their identical heredity or to their identical environment. If they are reared apart, any differences between them must be connected to differences in their environment, while similarities are mainly due to their identical genetics. This argument sums up the logic behind Niels Juel-Nielsen's study of Danish identical twins reared apart” (Gruber, Nature vs. Nurture: A Natural Experiment). To go more into depth on the twins reared apart, Susan Farber, cited by Howard Gruber, establishes the perspective of human development.

If identical twins were truly identical, then their development in two different environments would not affect their behavioral differences. Identical twins that are not separated may still differ from each other. Dr. Farber conducted a study that measured the degree of being separated and I. Q. test scores. On average, Dr. Farber discovered that the more separated the twins were, the greater the difference between their I. Q. scores. If intelligence had been hereditary, then these identical twins that were reared apart and separated would still have the same amount of intelligence; yet, they do not (Gruber).

When determining whether homosexuality is caused by an individual’s environment and surroundings or by genetics, the answer is unknown. To this day, researchers are still pondering whether or not this “gay gene” exists. Most gays and lesbians believe their sexual orientation is an inborn trait or developed in earlier years of life. However, opponents of gay rights believe homosexuality is a behavior that is created through the conscience thought, and this behavior can be changed or developed at will.

In 1993, a study was done Dean Hamer, a scientist from the National Cancer Institute. He reported that he had linked male homosexuality to a small region, specifically the end, of one human chromosome: the x-shaped chromosome. Thirty-three of forty pairs of gay brothers were found to have this identical piece of DNA. This brought about more stress to the nation, as several states were considering excluding laws that protect gays and lesbians from discrimination. But if homosexuality could be inborn, as Hamer hypothesized, then these laws would be invalidated by courts.

As years went by, Hamer never finished the work he started. He was accused by colleagues of changing and almost “forcing” the end results in his favor. As a gay gene is not yet found, homosexuality cannot be in favor of the nature point of view. Sexual orientation cannot be genetically determined without this gay gene; therefore, an individual’s sexual orientation is created based upon the surroundings and environment he or she grows into (Chakravarti & Little). Another discussion that is brought about when on the topic of nature vs. urture is the idea of developing diseases. The role the environment plays on DNA might actually be quite surprising: “The inability of geneticists to easily identify common disease genes has been seen as a vindication of the importance of nurture” (Chakravarti and Peter, 2). The nurture side of the debate is critical in affecting DNA and its products; mutations are not the only way for changing gene function. For example, cancer research reveals that a specific tumor develops only from changing the activity of the genes.

Mutations and a variety of different exposures interrupt the cell metabolism. This is another example of how external environmental prompts influence how the DNA functions. Therefore, DNA interacts with the environment, directly and indirectly, to predispose or protect us from disease. Genes play a huge role in all diseases and traits, with collective action from genes and the nurture point of view that decide the ultimate disease outcome. (Chakravarti and Peter, 2) Although we cannot decipher the entire code for human life, an nderstanding can be somewhat met when discussing the functions of genes. According to Emma Young, “Scientists look at the role the environment plays in explaining the health and behaviors of individuals. If the revelation of the role of genes is discovered, then the influence of environmental factors could easily be pointed out” (Young). Genetic research shows that genes play an important role for almost all complex traits. Genetic research also shows that individual differences in these complex traits are evenly due to environmental and genetic influences.

Simply, the genetic component of the cause of diseases is roughly 50% percent, while the other 50% is due to the interaction we have with our environments. (Young, Nature versus Nurture). This proves that environmental influences are just as important as genetic factors in determining intelligence and other aspects of personality. Researchers have turned to these twin studies of identical twins reared apart on numerous occasions. Because identical twins come from the same egg and have identical genes, their biological traits should be more similar than fraternal twins, which come from separate eggs.

But when it comes to fraternal twins, I believe the nurture debate is more acceptable. Fraternal twins raised in the same environment can sometimes show weird similarities, a convincing argument that genes aren’t all that determine how these individuals develop behaviors. This debate will always be a hard one to go on and talk about. This debate will not be resolved anytime soon. Each side offers legitimate and persuasive questions and answers to this debate of “Nature vs. Nurture”, and what each of us can perceive to be the problem can not necessarily be a problem to the next person.

Have the scientist and psychologist offer the people legitimate cases on whether we behave the way we have been influenced from the media or our surroundings or is the way we behave because of the genes we take after from our parents? The nature vs. nurture controversy has been and is still significant in the field of psychology today. For many years, scientists have been developing new methods that hope to bring them closer to a solution for this debate. Although this process may be costly, the benefits produced will hopefully bring us closer to defining how an individual ultimately retrieves his or her characteristics and behaviors.

These benefits can greatly impact lives that suffer problems dealing with gene composition. Developing an understanding for how twins, identical and fraternal, differ or relate because of behaviors, personalities, and intelligences can be discovered. Determining whether or not sexual orientation is inherited and by which gene it is formed can be discovered. The ways in which diseases form and live can be discovered. Many unanswered questions can finally be answered through the development and solution of this nature vs. nurture debate. I believe with the development of better and more complete studies, scientists will come to appreciate that our environment affects how certain genes express themselves.

Works Cited

  1. Csongradi, Carolyn. "Nuture versus Nature. " Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum. Web. 11 Dec. 2010. <http://www. accessexcellence. org/LC/SER/BE/whatb. php>. Gruber, Howard E. "NATURE VS. NURTURE - A NATURAL EXPERIMENT - NYTimes. com. " The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. Web. 07 Dec. 2010. <http://www. nytimes. om/1981/03/01/books/nature-vs-nurture-a-natural-experiment. html>.
  2. "Nature, Nurture and Human Disease : Abstract : Nature. " Nature Publishing Group : Science Journals, Jobs, and Information. Web. 11 Dec. 2010. <http://www. nature. com/nature/journal/v421/n6921/abs/nature01401. html>. "Neuroscience Of Intelligence. " Macalester College: Private Liberal Arts College. Web. 11 Dec. 2010. <http://www. macalester. edu/psychology/whathap/ubnrp/intelligence05/Rheredity. html>.
  3. Powell, Kimberly. “Nature vs Nurture - How Heredity and Environment Shape Who We Are. About Genealogy - Learn How to Research Your Family Tree. 19 July 2010. Web. 07 Dec. 2010. <http://genealogy. about. com/cs/geneticgenealogy/a/nature_nurture. htm>.
  4. Schneider, Susan M. "The Tangled Tale of Genes and Environment: Moore's The Dependent Gene: The Fallacy of “nature VS. Nurture”. " ABAI. Web. 11 Dec. 2010. <http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC2223161/>. Wachs, Theodore D. "Commentary on Plomin, R. (1994). Genetics, Nurture and Social Development: an Alternative Viewpoint - Wachs - 2006 - Social Development. Wiley Online Library. 01 Mar. 1981. Web. 11 Dec. 2010. <http://onlinelibrary. wiley. com/doi/10. 1111/j. 1467-9507. 1994. tb00026. x/abstract>.
  5. Wiertelak, Eric. "Neuroscience Of Intelligence. " Macalester College: Private Liberal Arts College. Web. 07 Dec. 2010. <http://www. macalester. edu/psychology/whathap/ubnrp/intelligence05/Rheredity. html>. Young, Emma. "BBC NEWS | In Depth | Human Genome | Nature versus Nurture. " BBC News - Home. Web. 07 Dec. 2010. <http://news. bbc. co. uk/2/hi/in_depth/sci_tech/2000/human_genome/760724. stm>. 1. P


Nature Versus Nurture

The roles of nature (what we genetically inherit) and or nurture (what we learn) in making us what we are have long been argued. The idea that humans are determined by these two influences dates back to the ancient Greek philosopher Protagorus who in the fifth century BC compared physics (nature) and nomos (tradition). It is however difficult to unravel the separate influences of nature and nurture. If the children of musically talented parents are themselves musically talent, is it because of genetic inheritance (nature) or because of a musical environment at home where they grow up(nurture).

The nature versus nurture debate concentrates on the question of how far our behavior is determined by nature at birth or by nurture after birth. In seventeenth century philosopher John Locke claimed that the mind of a child was like a Tabula Rasa (blank slate). People became what they were taught to be. By the second half of nineteenth century many social scientists started to argue that human behavior is determined by nature. Charles Darwin’s theory came up with the idea that humans and other animals have descended ultimately from the same ancestors.

Animals are governed by instincts (fixed traits that are inherited and shared by all members of a species). These inherited mechanisms enable members of the species to perform complex tasks. For example twice a year the New Zealand cuckoo travel 4000 miles between New Zealand and Islands off the coast of New Guinea. The adults’ leave New Zealand before their eggs are hatched. The young cuckoos later on travel 4000 miles and join their par4ents-without ever having made the journey and with no one to guide them. Experiments have indicated that other birds also seem to have some inborn sense that guides their migration.

Because animals are governed by instincts and human are also animals, some scholars reasoned that human behavior must also be governed by instincts. As a result many social scientists searched for the supposed instants that would explain all kinds of human behavior when they saw a mother feeding her baby they attributed it to the maternal instinct, when they were asked to explain war, they explained it was the aggressive instinct. They eventually discovered more that 14000 instincts, ranging from laughing instinct to a religious instinct. But these ideas of instinct have many short comings.

Firstly the concept of instinct was tautological. (i. e. the explanation was true by definition. The instinct that was discovered was just another name for what was to be explained. For example the aggressive instinct was just another way of saying that they engage in warfare, in the same way that high temperature is another way of saying hot weather. Secondary the same instinct was used to explain contradictory actions for example the acquisitive instinct was used to explain both hard honest work and bank robbery. Thirdly, instincts are supposed to be in all human but human behavior around the world varies greatly.

For example Arapesh of New Guinea or the Tasaday of Philippines do not have aggressive, nature in their behavior, if human have self preservative instinct then they would not have committed suicides. In 1969, An American psychologist Jensen claimed that only to percent of the variation between peoples intelligence is due to their social environment while 80 percent is fixed from birth by genetic inheritance. Another American psychologist, Professor Thomas Bouchard of Minnesota University carried out an experiment on Jim Twins which also help to argue that human behavior is determined more bye nature than by nurture.

For example, James Lewis and James Springer were identical twins who were separated in the first year of life and brought up separately. He discovered an amazing number of coincidences about Jim Twins:

  • Both had married women called Linda.
  • Both had been divorced and had then married women called Betty.
  • One of them had named his son James Allan and the other as James Alan.
  • Both had had a dog called Toy
  • Both had spent these holidays on the same beach in Florida.
  • Both drove a blue Chevrolet.
  • Both built white benches round the trunk of a tree in their gardens.
  • Both had a habit of biting their fingernails.
  • Both were chain smokers of same brand of cigarettes
  • Their temperaments, voice patterns and nervous habits were also similar. Thus the case of Jim Twins might lead us towards the idea that nature determines our human behavior.

Sociobiology (the systematic study of the biological basis of all social behavior) was developed by E. O. Wilson in 1980 s. According to sociobiology’s human behavior is determined naturally just like animal behavior. According to sociobiologist Steven Gavlin and Alice Schlegel (1980) individuals act in order to maximize their genes in future generations.

Thus the tendency of man to have sexual relationship with beautiful women is to maximize his genes. Similarly behavior of both men and women is thus guided by genetic factors. These above mentioned evidences shows that human behavior is determined by nature or genetic influences. Our race (color of the skin and other bodily features (sex, certain diseases, flood groups, are no doubt inherited. Human beings are directly influenced by nature. For example, hunger, thirst, physical fatigue, gradual but in exorable degeneration human body all constrain our human life, shaping what we can do and can be.

For example vigorous physical exercise is beyond the capacities of virtually all 70 year olds. Similarly we are still subject to and contained by ecological or climatic conditions. Human communities, no matter how advanced or developed are powerless in the face of elemental forces of earthquakes hurricanes or snowfall. On the other hand, as the twentieth century began, the concept of instinct lost its strength. The idea that human behavior is determined by nurture or learning began to gain favor. For example Russian Psychologist Ivan Pavlov had shown that human beings like dogs can be trained or conditioned.

American psychologist John Watson extended Pavlov’s experiment on dogs to human infants. For example Watson could make a little boy called Albert afraid of a white rat that had previously delighted him. He concluded that all emotions, and behaviors are learned through such associations and social environment make us who we are. He further added that learning by itself determines human personality. Although social scientists accepted the influence of biological factors they considered nurture to be more influence than heredity. Even the habits that seem very basic and essential to human nature also appear to depend on nurture i. . socialization. Evidence of the far reaching significance of socialization comes both from case studies of children who are deprived from socialization and those rose in the mild. Since the fourteenth century there have been mor4e than 50 recorded cases of feral children (children supposedly raised by animals) one of the most famous is mild boy of Aveyron-Victor.

In 1979 he was captured in the woods by hunter in Southern France. He was about 11, completely naked, ran on all fours, could not speak, speechless, preferred uncooked food, could not do most of the simple things done by young children. Jean Itard a physician ried to train the boy. After 3 months he seemed little more human. He more clothes learned to sit at a table, and eat wit6h utensils. He started to show human emotions such as joy, gratitude and remorse. He lived for about 40 years but he never learned to speak nor ever become a normal person. Similarly in one orphanage Spit found that infants who were about 18 months old were left lying on their backs in small cubical most of the day without any human contact. Within a year all had become physically mentally, emotionally and socially retarded. Two years later more than a third of the children had died.

Those who survived could not speak, they could not walk, they could not dress up and they could not use spoon. This shows that children who received little attention/socialization suffered very noticeable effects. Various cases of unsocialized children also indicate that human behavior is something that has to be learned. Humans do not simply become able to do all things instinctually. For example Anna, from Pennsylvania, USA was an illegitimate child. Anna was kept hidden from the public in the attic. She was just fed enough to keep her alive, she was neither touched nor bathed, and she simply lay still in her own filth.

She was discovered in 1938 at the age of six. She looked like a skeleton. She was couldn’t talk nor walk. She did nothing but lay quietly in the ground her eyes vacant and expressionless. She was attempted to socialize. Eventually she could walk, feed herself. Brush her teeth and follow simple directions. But she never learned to speak and was far from normal. Isabella was also an illegitimate child. She was founding Ohio, USA in 1938 at the age 6. Her grandfather had kept her and her deaf-mute mother secluded in a dark room. She could however interact with mother.

When discovered however she showed great fear and hostility towards people and made a strange croaking sound, when examined she was found to be feebleminded and uneducable, she was put on a systematic skillful training, after a slow start she began to talk. In nine months she could read and write within two years she was attending school, she had become a very bright cheerful and energetic girl. All these examples clearly show that human behavior is not some thing which is fixed at birth and which unfolds step by step naturally.

Related Questions

on Nature vs. Nurture in Language Development

What Is Nature In Language Acquisition?
Nature in language acquisition refers to the innate abilities and predispositions that humans possess for acquiring language. These abilities include the ability to recognize and produce speech sounds, understand grammar, and acquire vocabulary.
Is Language Development Nature Or Nurture?
Language development is a combination of both nature and nurture. While genetics play a role in a child's ability to learn language, their environment and experiences also greatly impact their language development.

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