Innateness and Language

{from Joel Judd 950224.0830 CST}

Bill P., Bruce, and Avery:

<BTW, Bruce, the author of _Child's Talk_ is Jerome Bruner, who I have
often thought might be receptive to PCT's implications for language, but
wouldn't know how to contact.>

In this past week's brushes with language, mention was made again of
just what might be innate for human language. I agree with the idea
that there are innate aspects of the brain which become employed in
language development and use, but which are probably not

For what it's worth, I'm still inclined to push for (and not because of
any rigorous experimentation I'm conducting--I'm employed by the
government now, after all) as little innateness as possible, mostly
because of arguments that have been raised here before about the nature
of knowledge.

Maybe none of you confuse knowledge with the physical structures that
give rise to it, but someone reading all this might be confounding the
brain structures that could be innate with the knowledge that isn't. I
think by maintaining this distinction one is more likely to run with
perceptual control (or something akin to it) rather than focusing on
obervable behaviors. Getting one to really appreciate it, though, is
easier said than done. Certainly Petrie, Perkinson, and Bickhard, to
name just three (and no offense is intended), are not household names in
education and learning. But their views together refute encodingism,
point out categorically different kinds of "learning," and support a
non-controllist view of education that certainly is NOT the norm in our



TO: CSG-L INTERNET Any user on the Internet, not at DESE Proj. Box

FROM: JUDDJ DESEINST Joel Judd - DESE - Division of Instruction

DATE: February 24, 1995
SUBJECT: Innateness and Language