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I think it is very interesting how Jean Gleason discussed all sides of the arguments- nature vs. nurture. She does state her opinion, that language develops through exposure and experience (which goes a bit along the lines of a Dewey perspective) and gives examples. This piece has opened my mind up to many research projects that have been going on which will help me come to my own conclusions as a person and a teacher. I believe that we are innately born with the ability to learn language; but the actual learning of that language is highly dependent on our environment and the people around us. What is developed relies entirely on others and their language.
Emotional underpinnings is a very interesting term- and connecting that to those who have autism is a very interesting thought. It is a possibility that those diagnosed with autism who have trouble communicating because they lack the emotional underpinnings connected to language development.
I LOVE the connection to her daughter with "held" and "holded". I deal with these sort of mis-speakings often within the classroom. And although I try to correct them discreetly, I find that the students usually continue to use the term that they were initially using. But, it is interesting that eventually the older they get and the more they are exposed to people using the terms in the correct manner- they too will begin to use the correct term.
The idea of the Wug is amazing.. I have never seen or heard of someone approaching language and research in that way. By intertwining language and mythical beings is a fantastic way to assess ones understanding of language and the way it is supposed to be used. Like Gleason said, if you use the term "dog" or "cat" the child could very well have just memorized the correct tense in which to speak it, or they have probably heard multiple times in their own experience that more than one dog is referred to as 'dogs'. With a Wug, there is no chance of that happening. We can assess the core of the students understanding. BRILLIANT.