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Is the ability to learn language hardwired into children's brains?

After children are born, they typically learn their first language(s) seamlessly and without any instruction or correction needed. This has prompted some to think that children are born with the necessary structures in their brains to learn language, but not everyone agrees with this view.

We have no innate language learning faculty

The Blank Slate hypothesis suggests children's brains are a blank slate at birth--they have no innate language faculty.

Children's brains are a blank slate at birth

According to this view posited by early linguists, philosophers, and behavioral psychologists, children are not born with any ingrained language knowledge.

Language learning is hardwired into our brains

The Innateness Hypothesis suggests children are born with the necessary structures in their brain to learn language.

Children are born knowing a Universal Grammar

The grammatical knowledge that children need to learn language is already present at birth, which explains why children do not typically need formal instruction to acquire language.

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This page was last edited on Sunday, 26 Jul 2020 at 19:20 UTC