Chomsky’s Minimalist Program: A Brief Linguistic Primer
Children around the world, no matter what their native language, follow a similar course in language acquisition from the emergence of first words to the mastery of syntax. The uniformity and rapidity of first language acquisition is possible because human infants are born with a biologically endowed innate language faculty within the brain that drives the course of language development. Although this premise was doubted 50 years ago, today biologists and linguists alike accept it. Our human language faculty orchestrates and shapes the acquisition of language. Neurotypically developing children need only the surrounding language input to acquire language. In contrast, children with receptive language delays, including many of those who are or will become augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) users, need more than exposure to language if they are to develop adult competence in their native language.