chapter  5
20 Pages


Innateness insists that the human brain has deep inborn structures and is wired according to a given program that becomes activated by, and proceeds to interact with, an appropriate environment. The rules of language acquisition connect to the particular form and content of a given language so that the emerging capacity of the child to speak either Chinese or Portuguese is essentially constrained and thus formed by these deep inborn sets of directions or structures. The child is not capable of developing a language or speaking in a manner that defies these constraints. No matter how complex or simple the resulting language, there remains the rather strict and formal principles of the deep structure. Because our language enables us to connect with others, it would seem that our construction of our world follows from and on these deep, innate, and essentially unmodifiable structures. We follow a program with which we are born, and our differences may be less profound than we may think.