"How do the Remove class students learn language ?" is both a very interesting and a very complex question. Some people have the opinions that we will learn a language when we practise it everyday. A language will be learnt quickly when there is a need for it, if I am a foreigner in America who does not know English, still I have to learn the language if I want to communicate with the locals .
It has fascinated people for centuries to find an answer to that question, but so far only competing theories have come up. When I took linguistics, my doctor taught me about Noam Chomsky’s opinions. He did not like Noam Chomsky and Halliday, so I guess his opinions were biased towards them. It was not easy to invent a linguistic theory. In 1965, Noam Chomsky invented the theory of a Universal Grammar underlying the structures of all languages and that babies were born with innate knowledge of this Universal Grammar. When we learnt the Universal Grammar, we knew everybody can learn a language, and every child can learn 5 human languages before age 5. The idea has revolutionised language acquisition research. But only in the 1970s did researchers start to look at the acquisition of second languages as well as the first language acquisition. Since then, studies, theories and new research fields have sprung up at an amazing rate.
Linguist Noam Chomsky made the argument that the human brain contains a limited set of rules for organizing language. In turn, there is an assumption that all languages have a common structural basis. This set of rules is known as universal grammar. Noam Chomsky, an American linguist and cognitive scientist, believes children are born with innate knowledge of the rules governing language. This makes him a nativist. His research during the late 20th century also suggests that the rules are universal among the known human languages. For example, Japanese and English seem very different, but both languages include verbs and in both languages verbs take an object. The difference is where the object of the verb is placed in the sentence. According to Chomsky, the reason children learn language so quickly is because they already know its rules.
The difference between the all languages is in the community they are practised. The language’s word bank shows how rich and expanding it is. A second language’s word bank may be larger than the mother tongue itself. If I am a Malaysian learning all about wheat, I’ll be surprised to know there are many kinds of wheat, so far i only know all wheats are wheat. It is the same when a British comes to Tanjung Karang for a homestay treat and he begins to hear many kinds of rice (beras) such as beras hancur, beras kampung, beras kilang, beras perang and beras gred.
Speakers proficient in a language know what expressions are acceptable in their language and what expressions are unacceptable. Sometimes they just do not know the terms to be used in English, as ‘you’ is addressed to the seo=cond person singular, a few of my Remove class students address me as ‘engkau’ and it was shocking at first. The key puzzle is how speakers should come to know the restrictions of their language, since expressions which violate those restrictions are not present in the input, indicated as such. This absence of negative evidence—that is, absence of evidence that an expression is part of a class of the ungrammatical sentences in one's language—is the core of the poverty of stimulus argument.
Can somebody clarify whether ‘you’ is only for one person, or if we are addressing two persons at a time, can we still use ‘you’? The English grammar only has 7 personal pronouns, and you is one of them, and not ‘all of you’, or ‘you all’.