First Language Acquisition Theories: Behaviorist/Learning Theory
• Watson (Psychologist)
• B.F. Skinner
• Albert Bandura
• Charles Osgood
Development, Hypotheses and assumptions
Watson(1913), behavior could be explained in terms of observable acts that could be described by stimulus-response sequences
Language is acquired according to the general laws of learning and is similar to any other learned behavior.
• Classical conditioning
• Operant conditioning
• Social learning (There is a mediator between the stimulus and response: the human mind.
• Osgood's mediation theory (though Osgood places his theory in the behavioristic paradigm, his theory is based partly on cognitivism and innativism for a number of reasons)
• Novel utterances which have never been heard by children
• Lacking of some categories in production (e.g. function words)
• No explanation for the logical problem of first language acquisition.
Gleason and Ratner (1998). Psycholinguistics. Second Edition. Forth Worth: Harcourt Brace Collage Publishers.
Keenan and Comrie (1977). "Noun phrase accessibility and universal grammar." Linguistic inquiry.8 (1), 63-99.