LIT 0001 Columbia University New York Language Acquisition Questions

Question Description

I’m working on a writing question and need an explanation to help me understand better.

Watch this Youtube video on Universal Grammar:

GEN120 – Universal Grammar – Part I (Links to an external site.)GEN120 - Universal Grammar - Part I

And watch this video on sign language grammar:

ASL Sentence Structure: Word Order in American Sign Language l ASL Lessons (Links to an external site.)ASL Sentence Structure: Word Order in American Sign Language l ASL Lessons

Theories of universal grammar are meant to explain how children can acquire languages so easily, and why there are recurrent patterns across different spoken languages. However, they are usually myopically focused on spoken language.

Please answer the following questions based on the videos above:

Which aspects of ASL grammar are fundamentally different from spoken language grammar (not English, all spoken language)? How could these differences be explained using the sorts of devices preferred by linguists like Noam Chomsky? What, if anything, do you think sign languages tell us about the nature of human language, and about the mechanisms of language acquisition in humans?

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