Resources for Communication Problems

Saturday, April 12, 2008



It is true that the sentences of the deaf gradually improve as they advance in school.

It is also true that this is due to instruction, but it is probably not so much due to grammatical instruction as to the child’s increasing contact with language examples from which he begins to abstract structural commonalities that help him to synthesize his own sentences. He knows as little about how he does this as we who are capable of speaking or writing in grammatically correct ( or at least understandable) sentences.

當聾人在學校有進步他們會逐漸變的更好,這是真實的。而這是源於教導也是真實的,但是卻跟教導文法沒這麼大的關係,因為聾小孩會提取結構上的共性來合成他自己的句子。依照我們這些能講話或能寫語法正確(或至少可理解的) 句子的人,關於他要怎麼做,他知道一些。

Because of examples such as those quoted here we are led to the conclusion that language instruction of the deaf would profit from (1) greater access to written material at an earlier age, (2) greater freedom in written expression, (3) greater acceptance ( on the part of teachers and parents) of primitive language productions and grammatical deviations, and (4) a ban of grammatical meta-language until a basic proficiency in language is fully established.

因為這裡引述的例子來看,我們得到一個結論。聾人從語言指導得到助益:1)童年的時候就有良好的管道學習寫作 2)寫作表達的自由度高 3)語言產生早期有高接受度 4)語法元語言禁令直到基本的熟練用語言充分地建立。


The study of grammar in the adult and in the child leads to the following hypothesis. In the mechanisms of language we find a natural extension of very general principles of organization of behavior which are biologically adapted to a highly specific ethological function. With maturation, the neonate begins to organize the perceptually available stimuli surrounding him and also to organize the movements of his muscles. Sensory data become grouped into as yet undifferentiated, global classes of gross patterns, and these, subsequently, become differentiated into more specific patterns. Similarly, movements which at first involve the entire body become differentiated into finer motor patterns. Both the perceived patterns and the self-produced patterns of movement become organized or grouped in functional categories, and hierarchies of categories. Members of a particular category are functionally equivalent because they either elicit an identical response or they serve one and the same function within the over-all structure of a particular behavior pattern. It is these general principles of differentiation and categorization that appear in specialized form in verbal behavior. They influence the organization of perceived material as well as the motor output.


Thus the characteristics of phrase-structure (as described by phrase-markers) appear as the natural outcome of an application of the differentiation principle to the acoustic patterns, called language. Also, the transformational principle in language appears to be virtually identical with the cognitive principles that underly the ability to categorize both the patterns of the environment and the patterns produced by our own movements. Whenever grouping occurs in terms of a common denominator( in other words, categorization that is in some empirically determinable way natural to the categorizer, be it animal or man), an essentially “transformational”process is involved. This is most clearly seen where the constituents of a single category lack any common physical dimension and where the commonality is thus an abstracted pattern or structure. In these cases, the physically given, sensory “reality”is transformed into abstracted structure, and similarity between the two physically different patterns is established through the possibility of transforming the abstracted structures back to either of the physically given patterns. All perceptions of similarities and relations depend upon the organism’s capacities for transformations; but this capacity is limited biologically. There are only certain ranges of transformations that a given species can handle. The range is always quite narrow and may be discovered by empirical investigations (just as sensory thresholds may be determined); but within the established limits there is still an infinity of possible transformations. Some such transformations may be possible but difficult for a given species to handle, and the animal may require much experience before it can make the transformation.

因而詞組結構的特徵(如所描述由詞組標誌)出現作為分化原則的應用對於聲學模式的自然結果,稱為語言。並且,變形原則在語言看來是實際上和下面能力分類環境的模式和由我們自己的運動導致的模式的認知原則完全相同。每當編組發生根據公分母(換句話說,用某一經驗主義地可決定的方式自然的對分類者分類,假如是動物或人) 一個實質上「變形」過程是包含的。這最清楚被看見一個單一類別的組成部分缺乏所有常見物理量度,並且共性是一個被提取的模式或結構。在這些情況下,完全特定的,知覺「現實」被變換成被提取的結構,並且二個完全不同模式之間的相似性透過變換被提取的結構的可能性回到完全特定模式而建立。所有感知能力的相似性和聯繫取決於有機體的容量為變革;但這容量被生物學所限制。有一個特定種類可處理變革的某些範圍,這範圍總是相當狹窄的並且也許可以由經驗為依據的調查發現; (就像知覺值也許是堅定的);但在建立的極限內可能的變革仍然是無限的。一些這樣的變革也許是可能的,但特定種類卻很難處理,並且在它可能做變革之前動物可能需要很多經驗。

The transformations of grammar are biologically specialized transformations, applicable to acoustic patterns that have in man the function of communication. This type of transformational capacity is clearly biologically given, but the specific transformations as they occur in one or another language are just some of the infinitely possible ones.


A superficial survey of language development in defective children revealed the following points: an individual’s knowledge of language, as determinable by testing his comprehension, may be established in the complete absence of capacities for language- or speech-specific responses, that is, the ability of the learner himself to speak. This emphasizes the importance of Chomsky’s competence-performance distinction and makes those language theories doubtful that are primarily based upon a response-shaping hypothesis.


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