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Nature-Nurture and Language Development


The relative significance of nature and nurture on the development of human language has been a historical debate spanning decades of cognitive and developmental psychology. For many years, people have debated and discussed the importance of nature and nurture and which has greater significance in human development. In this assignment, you will focus on the roles of nature and nurture in the process of language development.

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  • Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines.


Write an essay (1,950-2,000 words) in which you discuss how the evolution of computer-generated speech affects the nature-nurture debate in the process of language development. In your essay address the following:

  • The roles nature and nurture have in the process of language development.
  • Does the successful development of computer-generated speech, which allows computers to communicate with one another, orally, effectively eliminate the nature-nurture debate regarding human language development?


The Nature vs. Nurture Debate in Language Development

Rules of language

Can animals learn language?

Brain regions

Sensitive period

Artificial Intelligence/ speaking computers


Here are some references I have found...if you find other scholarly articles you may use them as well. There must me in text citations. Do not use more than 3 quotations if any.


Aaron, A., Eidi, E., & Petrelli, J. (2005). Conversational computers. Efforts to make computers speak naturally will let machines better communicate meaning. Scientific American.

Berk. L. (2009). Child development. Pearson custom publishing. Boston, MA.

Chomsky, N. (2014) Noam Chomsky’s Quotes. Brain Quotes. Retrieved from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/n/noam_chomsky_4.html

Friedenberg, J. & Silverman, G. (2006). Cognitive Science. An introduction to the study of mind. Sage Publications. Thousand Oaks, CA.

Hergenhan, B. & Henley, T. (2014). An introduction to the history of Psychology. Wadsworth Cengage Learning. Belmont, CA.

Gillespie-Lynch, K., Greenfield, P., Feng, Y., Savage-Rumbaugh, S. Lyn. S. (2013). A Cross-

Nowak, M. A., Komarova, N. L., & Niyogi, P. (2001). "Evolution of universal grammar”. Science, 291(5501), 114-118. doi:10.1126/science.291.5501.114

Species Study of Gesture and Its Role in Symbolic Development: Implications for the Gestural Theory of Language Evolution. Frontiers in Psychology, 2013 Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130606190819.htm

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Nature versus Nurture in Language Development
Student’s Name




Nature versus Nurture in Language Development
The environment, in addition to personal traits, definitely plays a critical role in a child’s
development. However, scholars within the psychology field have been engaged in extensive
discussions over the extent to which the environment, or the personal traits, influence a child’s
outcome. According to some scholars, while the context of development presents the goals for
achievement in the development process, the innate characteristics provide a means to achieve
such objectives (Bleidorn et al., 2010). Nonetheless, the position does not explicitly indicate the
extent to which either one influences the other. Consequently, it would be necessary to analyze
one debatable characteristic, to determine the extent to which the interaction between the two
influences development. Language is one of the critical aspects of development learned in the
early stages of individual development, and the consequent development of artificial technology
speech alludes to the greater necessity of nature to individual development.
Environment primarily provides room for interaction between different individuals of a
particular species. Scholarly research on the role of nature and nurture in the development of
character is in some cases premised on the reaction to issues experienced by children or young
adults in their development process (Sameroff, 2010). In most cases, the parents indicate it to be
the child’s fault that he or she engaged in a particular malpractice, while the professionals within
the law enforcement department often quote it as being the parent’s fault that the child engaged
in the particular behavior. However, a professional within the psychology field would note it to
be a combination of both the parent and individual characteristics, leading the said child into
engaging in particular forms of a misdemeanor.
In essence, the environment provides external pressure, while the innate characteristics
provide an approach through which the individual is most likely to respond to the issue in



question. If one’s parents were often involved in violent issues in their childhood, which
continues into their adult lives, there are high chances that the child will engage in violent
confrontations with others at a higher rate than normal. Further, if the same is traceable to the
child’s grandparents, both paternal and maternal, then the issue is more related to nature than
nurture. On the other hand, an acquired behavior would be explicitly prevalent in a child and
foreign to the parent...

Excellent resource! Really helped me get the gist of things.


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