Innateness hypothesis

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The innateness hypothesis is a linguistic theory of language acquisition which holds that at least some linguistic knowledge exists in humans at birth.[1] Facts about the complexity of human language systems, the universality of language acquisition, the facility that children demonstrate in acquiring these systems, and the comparative performance of adults in attempting the same task are all commonly invoked in support. The idea that there may be an age by which this learning must be accomplished is known as the critical period hypothesis.

Noam Chomsky is responsible for the innateness hypothesis. Hilary Putnam published a critique of the innateness hypothesis entitled "The 'Innateness Hypothesis' and Explanatory Models in Linguistics".[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Innateness hypothesis | Define Innateness hypothesis at". Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  2. ^ "The ‘innateness hypothesis’ and explanatory models in linguistics - Springer". 1967-01-01. Retrieved 2013-09-15.