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Ma Linguistics And Elt Topic Student English Language Essay

The intent of this essay is to research Fodor`s thought of modularity and to analyse and associate the deductions of modular theory of knowledge into the development of 2nd linguistic communication acquisition. This essay is comprised of two parts. In first portion, it provides a thorough description of Fodor`s thought of modularity. In 2nd portion, it demonstrates the practical deductions of Fodor`s thought into the 2nd linguistic communication. In add-on it analyzes the importance of input and its relation with 2nd linguistic communication acquisition. The issue is discussed in relation to the claim made by Fodor ( 1983 ) that ; kids unable to interact in the early period / sensitive period can non develop a full grammar of their linguistic communication and faculties can non develop on its ain without being triggered by the environment ( Brain & A ; Alan 1999: 135 ) . This claim leads to two of import linguistics issues, i.e. , critical period hypotheses and the importance of input in linguistic communication acquisition as input triggers the faculties to trip its internal mechanism. Fodor explain faculties to be “ informationally encapsulated ” and are triggered by input provided from external environment. Input systems are the medium for input processing. Furthermore, Fodor associated assorted features with faculties and keep that faculties operates unconscious processing which is being linked with Kreshan ( 1982 ) hypothesis known as “ the Acquisition Learning hypotheses ” . Kreshan`s hypothesis involves two degree of representation in 2nd linguistic communication ( two degrees of processing ) ; witting and unconscious. These procedures in 2nd linguistic communication acquisition can be loosely related to that of Fodor`s modular system on the footing of Fodor`s description of internal system of faculties and stipulating assorted characteristics of modular system.

Idea of Modularity is closely linked with the field of neuro psychological science, psychological science and linguistics. This Idea fundamentally aims to associate with general knowledge in human head / encephalon. Fodor`s Modularity of head is an interesting and influential thought in the field of physiological psychology and linguistics. Modularity of head is related with the aim of explicating developmental procedures of knowledge in human head. In linguistics thought of modularity is considered to be related to Chomsky ‘s thought of “ innateness ” and internal device responsible for acquisition of human linguistic communication, more exactly towards innate sensitivity towards linguistic communication.

Encyclopedia Britannica explains “ Modularity ” in general as

“ a continuum depicting the grade to which a system ‘s constituents may be separated and recombined ” . The term modularity is derived from the term “ faculty ” , the term faculty described by Carruthers ( 2006 ) as “ a system whose internal procedures are largely unaccessible to other systems and that, at any clip, uses merely a subset of the information that is present in other systems ” .

By and large, modularity of head explains the thought that the head is composed of sphere particular, closed and independent processing faculties. It is the impression that a head may, at least in portion, be composed of separate innate constructions which have established, evolutionarily developed functional intents. The two footings “ faculty ” and “ sphere ” used in the above definition

are explained by Karmiloff Smith ( 1992:6 ) as “ a sphere is the set of

representations prolonging a specific country of cognition: linguistic communication, Numberss, natural philosophies, and so forth. Similarly, faculty is information treating unit that encapsulates that cognition and the calculations of it ” The term “ independent ” refers to the grade or degree to which sentence structure, vocabulary and assorted other cognitive spheres operate independently of one another ( Karmiloff Smith & A ; Elsabbagh 2006 ) .

Jerry Fodor ( 1983 ) is one of the most influential and one of the strongest advocates of modular theory of knowledge. Fodor in contrast to Modern Cognitivist place holds that certain psychological procedures are self contained. While “ New expression ” , or Modern Cognitivist claims that all psychological procedures are connected to each other, every bit good as, they exchange information freely. The roots of Fodor`s Modularity of Mind can be linked with Descartes ‘ ( seventeenth century French philosopher, physicist and mathematician ) celebrated thought of Neo-Cartesian. Descartes in his thought majorly explained the profusion of intrinsic psychological constructions. Neo-Cartesians philosophers and psychologist believed head and encephalon to be two separate entities. Neo-Cartesians, productive linguists and modular cognitivist thought are considered to be related with each other from assorted positions. Modularity of head is influential thought in the field of linguistics but it is non every bit accepted by all theoreticians and has been refuted by “ Emergenist ” ( Fodor called them “ huffy Canis familiaris

nativist ” ) . Emergenist externally rejects the thought of modularity and sphere

specificity and unconditioned construction or unconditioned representation of human linguistic communication. Emergenist holds a general thought of knowledge and considers interaction and see environment to be responsible for learning linguistic communication. They disprove the presence of unconditioned construction and sphere specific capacities in human linguistic communication. While Fodor and his coevalss besides known “ particular nativist ” keep an alternate position to emergenist. Similarly, empiricist Anderson ( 1995 ) describes an incorporate non modular head and that head, unlike particular nativist is non innately structured.

Fodor ( 1983 ) being “ particular nativist ” describes Modularity of head as “ the head is composed of sphere particular, closed and independent processing faculties ” head is modular and is divided into many parts and each portion or faculty has its ain operation and is composed of internal independent system. Internal system does non interfere with any other system and is self modulating in its ain operation. Not all the constituents in human head are modular but some non modular operation besides takes topographic point. Fodor ( 1983 ) has farther divided encephalon into two major systems and has explained two types of cognitive systems ; non modular and modular, besides understood as horizontal and perpendicular systems severally ; the non modular are besides recognized as cardinal procedures or cardinal system and modular 1s are called as faculties. Fodor ( 1983:11 ) exhaustively described not modular system as “ the non modular systems, unlike modular systems, are non content particular and they exhibit the interaction of such

modules as, e.g. , memory, imaginativeness, attending, esthesia, perceptual experience, and so on and so forth ” .

Fodor ( 1983 ) returns with the treatment of horizontal system and justice it against perpendicular systems or faculties. Vertical systems which are modular in nature and head can be considered as modular because of the features in perpendicular systems. Vertical systems in contrast to horizontal systems are localized and domain specific. These treating systems are segregate or cutoff from the other systems ; they are self modulating subsystems and are besides content particular. Vertical modules have noteworthy and peculiar, typical functions associating to different treating systems. Fodor ( 1983 ) called perpendicular system as faculty and described the undermentioned belongingss of faculty.

Fodor ( 1983 ) calls faculty as a “ perceptual input system ” and attributed the following belongingss to it. These belongingss make faculties different from cardinal systems or horizontal systems. First, Faculties are “ informationally encapsulated ” holding an independent internal system which can non be interfered by the other parts of the mind/brain, or they are non in demand of any other system for its internal operation. Second, the internal maps within the faculty are “ unconscious ” . Third, Modules operate “ shallow end product ” the end product of these faculties are really cardinal and more compound reading follows after intensive degree. Fourthly the map or operation of

a faculty is compulsory/ obligatory, which Fodor ( 1983 ) called as

“ obligatory fire ” . Fifthly, Modules are domain specific holding a computational structural design that is typical to peculiar stimulations. Sixthly, input systems are rapid in their operation.

Fodor exhaustively explained domain specificity by claiming that faculties function with peculiar mechanism which he called “ specialized mechanism ” . This mechanism is dedicated to manage a peculiar type of input, which was given the name of “ proprietary input ” by Fodor. Fodor farther explained by coming up with account of sphere specificity, he argued that general job work outing abilities are different from speech perceptual experience. In add-on Fodor explained that faculties are localized in specific encephalon countries. Similarly, Elman and coevalss ( 1996 ) explained the specificity of sphere by reasoning that sphere have specific input and end product system, i.e. , in linguistic communication processing auditory input is received through the ears, in a same manner other system have separate manner of treating their input.

In linguistics thought of modularity is considered to be related to Chomsky ‘s thought of “ innateness ” of human linguistic communication, peculiarly towards innate sensitivity towards linguistic communication. Neil Smith and Ianthi Maria ( 1996 ) indicated the relationship between these two thoughts and suggested that Fodor was non the first to uncover the modularity of linguistic communication system, Chomsky ‘s early Hagiographas ( 1968 & A ; 1975 ) has suggested linguistic communication organ as independent and genetically determined innate system. They assume that Fodor ( 1983 ) interprets the same object as faculties, while Chomsky ( 1965 ) has given the name L A D ( linguistic communication acquisition device ) .

Apart from the guess about the similarities and differences between Chomsky ‘s thought of innateness and Fodor ‘s thought of modularity, there are

many differences which are suggested, or considered by many linguists. Some cardinal difference between Chomsky`s and Fodor`s modularity are suggested by Schwartz ( 1999 ) . Schwartz ( 1999 ) revealed the difference as Chomsky ‘s theoretical account will comprised of constructions and it does conforms to certain principals which make it different from other systems, like it is the constituent of a hypothesized linguistic communication faculty. While Fodor`s theoretical account are cognitively packed and are non penetrable, more specifically Fodor`s faculties are “ informationally encapsulated ” . However, Segal ( 1996 ) explains the similarities by depicting horizontal and perpendicular faculties in different manner. Segal associated perpendicular faculties, ( which he called historical faculties ) to be compatible with U G ( cosmopolitan grammar ) . Segal ( 1996 ) returns with the account as synchronous faculties ( Fodor`s horizontal faculties ) are those faculties which replicates the fixed competency, while historical faculties ( Fodor`s perpendicular faculties ) are those which are dependent on the environment and manage to acquire characters from the external ambiance through parametric quantity, like in U G ( cosmopolitan grammar ) .

In the treatment of horizontal and perpendicular decompositions, Fodor ( 1983 ) have referred to perpendicular psychological module which are responsible for cognitive mechanism. Fodor ( 1983 ) called this system responsible for taking information to the cardinal system for farther processing. Input systems, which

are domain specific, are comprised of five human senses like odor, touch, hearing, gustatory sensation and sight. Other so the five major senses in human organic structure, Fodor ( 1983 ) considered linguistic communication to be the portion of the same system as good. In simple words the function of this whole system is to garner information, or to roll up information and to direct it to the cardinal system for processing.

Fodor`s Idea of modularity is related to linguistic communication in many facets.

Gregg ( 2003 ) gives account of different degrees of modularity in cognitive scientific disciplines and explains the relation of modularity with that of linguistic communication learning/ acquisition. The basic difference that Gregg ( 2003 ) described was that of degree of analysis: the first 1 is modularity at anatomical degree which would be that the Second linguistic communication cognition exists in particular and good defined and localized country. Gregg ( 2003 ) further argued that if 2nd linguistic communication system or

public presentation is activated in separate corner of the encephalon, so it will be considered as anatomical modularity. Gregg added that if that corner would be considered as different from first linguistic communication so there are figure of grounds to presume that first linguistic communication and 2nd linguistic communication developments are wholly different from each other. In add-on he considered anatomical modularity to be sufficient grounds for 2nd linguistic communication competency.

Equally for as, input and its relation with modularity is concerned, input is an of import factor responsible of learning/ geting linguistic communication. Children and grownups show singular forms in learning/ geting linguistic communication. Newport & A ;

Aslin ( 2000 ) suggested that grownups and kids shows astonishing forms, the manner kids and grownup apply regularities does non depend on the input given to them, or lingual input is non sufficient, i.e. , they produce more than they have heard, which indicates that sphere specificity can play of import function in forming their linguistic communication.

Fodor ( 1983: 53 ) explains input system as, the input systems are informationally encapsulated. . . . Input system does non work in general sense. Rather, they function to supply really particular sorts of representations of really specialised input.

Heberle ( 1998: 115 ) reported that Fodor ( 1983 ) explains that human existences do non do usage of all cognition of linguistic communication, instead grownups and kids rely on background information, which depends upon on perceptual acknowledgment. Input systems quickly perform their operation, and their operations are obligatory. Like when listening to a address, through auditory system, we comprehend the message delivered to us. It is in non in our control to grok, or to listen to specific facets of address, but it is an automatic procedure. Therefore the input system, which are sphere specific, their map is obligatory and is non in human control, the same manner, the input system are automatically set off by the stimulations which they stumble upon. Fodor ( 1983 ) confirms this by uncovering that we can non see address sound as noise, if we want to see it as noise even than we can non see it as noise.

In linguistics, the thought of modularity is ever linked with Chomsky`s position. Fodor and Chomsky ( particular nativist ) are considered to be advocates of internal mechanism in human head which is responsible for linguistic communication acquisition. In term of first linguistic communication acquisition the thought of modularity or modular knowledge is consecutive frontward. Research workers, such as Hewson ( 1982 ) and Bates ( 1992 ) considered linguistic communication to be biological belongings of human being and suggest that kids are born with linguistic communication specific device which helps so understanding and runing the linguistic communication in affectional manner.

Similarly, most of the research done in response to thought of modularity is related with specific linguistic communication damage ( S L I ) and William syndrome. Rosen, Mcclelland & A ; Lely ( 1998 ) reported that in S L I, grammar is badly black but all the other maps in linguistic communications are claimed to run absolutely. This can be linked with different parts of head, like Broca`s country ( from Paul Broca a Gallic sawbones 1860s ) and wernicke`s country ( from Cral Wernicke a German docor 1870s ) , the former country is active for grammatical processing while the later is associated with speech comprehension and address production.

Apart from all these claims about physical being of different countries in our head responsible for linguistic communication processing, thought of modularity is badly associated with 2nd linguistic communication acquisition. Schwartz ( 1986 ) claim

that the thought of modularity as explained by Fodor ( 1983 ) is straight applicable to 2nd linguistic communication acquisition. Schwartz straight forwardly linked Kreshan`s ( 1982 ) celebrated hypothesis known as “ the acquisition acquisition hypotheses ” to Fodor`s thought of modularity. It is compatible with 2nd linguistic communication acquisition to a major extent. On the other manus, Gregg ( 1988 ) has criticized Schwartz ( 1986 ) for this claim and has stated that Schwartz ( 1986 ) is incorrect in construing Fodor`s thought of modularity. Conversely, Schwartz strongly suggested that there is no cognitive mechanism in kids that is unavailable to grownups ; means that kids and grownups possess that same runing mechanism in linguistic communication acquisition. In the same manner, Pinker ( 1979 ) claimed that kids and grownup possess the same mechanism in linguistic communication processing. On the contrary, Bley Vroman ( 1990 ) with cardinal difference hypotheses asserts that first linguistic communication acquisition is basically different from that of 2nd linguistic communication acquisition.

By maintaining the whole scenario in head the claim made by Schwartz ( 1986 ) seems rather influencing because she has linked Kreshan ( 1982 ) hypotheses with that of Fodor`s account which are compatible with the belongingss of faculty. But Gregg ( 1988 ) has explained that Schwartz has non associated all the belongingss of faculties and has linked merely few with them. On

the other manus, the experimental survey conducted by Christina ( 2007 ) suggested that modularity of grammar mirrored in 2nd linguistic communication acquisition is the same as is reflected in first linguistic communication acquisition.

Fodor ( 1983 ) describes faculties to be unconscious in operation, sphere specific and are informationally encapsulated. Schwartz has coupled all these belongingss in 2nd linguistic communication with that of Kreshan`s hypotheses. Kreshan ( 1982 ) has described two types of cognition one is acquired cognition and the other one is learned cognition, i.e. , the former is witting while the later is unconscious. Kreshan describes that acquired cognition that is unconscious refers to acquisition that is really much closed to the procedure through which kids mastered their first linguistic communication. Intuitions play an of import function in acquisition. Kreshan proceeds that acquisition is the procedure in which scholar learn the linguistic communication without any formal instructions. Furthermore, Kreshan explained that acquisition is the consequence of existent interaction among people. Schwartz ( 1986 ) explained that the relation between acquisition and acquisition as indicated by Kreshan points out that acquisition is unconscious so learning linguistic communication is non possible through cardinal procedures and is possible merely with unconscious mental representation. Schwartz carried on with the same treatment and explained that kids and grownups can non get the hang their linguistic communication with the cardinal procedures. Learning is different from acquisition in which scholars officially learn the direction and use all those direction and do usage of linguistic communication. Schwartz ( 1986 ) further proceed with the treatment of

acquisition larning hypothesis and explicate that acquisition refers to the procedures originally designed for linguistic communication, while larning must be positioned in a more broad runing larning sphere.

Gregg ( 1988 ) explained the difference between Fodor`s modular system and not modular system and concluded that the difference between these two systems is that the former is independent while the later is non independent. Schwartz ( 1986 ) gives inside informations of the belongingss being associated by Fodor with that of input system as the map of input system is obligatory. She continued explicating this term in relation with 2nd linguistic communication acquisition. Schwartz explained that eavesdropping in our first linguistic communication is compared with that of eavesdropping in 2nd linguistic communication. In first linguistic communication eavesdropping is automatic as we can non assist the state of affairs when our head recognizes meaningful sound ; we can non see those sound patterns as noise so it becomes automatic. Despite the fact that eavesdropping is non as automatic in 2nd linguistic communication as it is in first linguistic communication. It becomes automatic and certain degree of promotion in 2nd linguistic communication ability. Input system being fast in its operation is non surprising in 2nd linguistic communication, experimental grounds from assorted experiments show that there is two 100 and 50 ( 250 ) micro 2nd hold between stimulation and response.

Most significantly Fodor`s account about the input system as they are informationally encapsulated are considered to be really of import from the position of 2nd linguistic communication acquisition. One of the difference between acquisition and acquisition as mentioned earlier is that of acquisition is extremely instructional while acquisition is the result of unconscious behavioral version in the same manner as is described by Fodor ( 1983: 76 ) that

… . The psychological mechanism deployed in slow comparatively painful extremely attentional procedures of retracing noisy or otherwise degraded lingual stimulations are the same mechanism which mediates the automatic and fluid procedures of address perceptual experience. The inquiry, nevertheless, is whet

Input in 2nd linguistic communication acquisition is really much of import. The importance of input in 2nd linguistic communication can be explained from the position of Gass ( 1997 ) who merely deny the possibility of acquisition without input. However, there are many contentions associated with the function of input in 2nd linguistic communication acquisition. Many theoreticians, such as emergenist believe input to be the lone factor responsible for first/ 2nd linguistic communication acquisition. They believe that kids and grownups produce linguistic communication because of their interaction ; they admire the function of environment to be responsible for linguistic communication acquisition.

Hewson ( 1982 ) explained that larning a linguistic communication is really much similar to any other athletic ability. Children are born with different innate abilities which help them to get the hang complexnesss. Similarly, Fodor, Chomsky, Kreshan and their coevalss, which are known as particular nativist, believe that human being

are endowed with inner module that operates linguistic communication comprehension and production. Input merely triggers the internal mechanism in human head. In footings of input, as argued by Kreshan ( 1985 ) , comprehendible input plays an of import function in 2nd linguistic communication acquisition. However, Long ( 1985 ) pointed out that comprehendible input, in itself, was necessary but non sufficient to advance the acquisition procedure. Doughty ( 2001 ) put in field words the relationship of input and 2nd linguistic communication acquisition by proposing that, input is from the external environment to the internal interface of internal mechanism. Kreshan ( 1982 ) came up with the position that comprehension leads to acquisition and stated that For groking the input utilizing scholars reciprocally use their current L2 ( 2nd linguistic communication ) competency and extra lingual cognition, scholars may detect the spread between their current inter linguistic communication grammar which Kreshan called “ I ” and the extra cognition provided by input becomes ( one + 1 ) . Kreshan firther added that this cognition would go the stuff that triggers their following measure of development. When the scholars notice this spread in meanwhile the internal linguistic communication acquisition device ( L A D ) accordingly uses these new stuffs to arise inter linguistic communication regulations and carry out hypotheses proving.

Acquisition mentioned about is related with that of Fodor`s moduartiy hypothesis. In order to lucubrate the same phenomena Sharwood Smith ( 1986 )

exhaustively described the acquisitional characteristics of input processing. Sharwood Smith ( 1986 ) returns with the treatment and analyzed five phases in input processing. Get downing with the first phase where scholars start comparing their

semantic and entire significance representation, i.e. , the former is derived from bing lingual competency and the later is derived from competency in add-on with excess linguistics cognition. Followed by the 2nd phase in which, scholars start seting their semantic representation. Similarly, in 3rd phase scholars make usage of semantic representation and get down utilizing it in the current grammar. Further preceded by forth phase in which scholars compare the two constructions, i.e. , the old and current constructions and finally learner rearrange their available competency system. Chaudron ( 1985 ) asserted all these mental comparing are operative in LAD. Sharwood Smith ( 1986 ) argued that without comprehension, scholars can non continue with the first measure and acquisition can non takes topographic point. Therefore, Kreshan ( 1982 ) at first topographic point promoted complex input alternatively of simplified input alternatively of comprehendible input.


Fodor explained the modular construction of human head. Fodor divided head into two broader system, that is, cardinal system and modular system. Faculties are comprised of unique features which makes them different from cardinal systems. Fodor categorised Human senses and linguistic communications are processed by faculties, while all other operations are processed by cardinal or non modular systems. Faculties are informationally encapsulated, sphere specific, unconscious, obligatory and are fast in operation. Many research workers have linked

Fodor and Chomsky in their account of unconditioned temperament of linguistic communication. There are many alternate positions, i.e. , empiricist and emergenist as they denied claims made by Fodor and Chomsky. Fodor thought of modularity is straight related to 2nd linguistic communication acquisition. Schwartz ( 1986 ) has straight linked Fodor`s Drug Enforcement Administration with that of Kreshan and considered it compatible and appropriate with Learning acquisition hypothesis. Similarly, the function of input is really much of import for both first and 2nd linguistic communication acquisition. Input in of import but non sufficient as it merely triggers the internal system. Faculties being informationally encapsulated are triggered by input.

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