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Rapid linguistic development is believed to occur in early childhood because of the malleability of this period (Hutterlocher, et al., 1991; Maccoby, 1992). The aim of this paper is to evaluate the role of socialisation as a contributor to first-language acquisition in terms of the phonological, lexical and syntactical aspects of language. The relative importance of nativist-and usage-based approaches to language is examined. Following from that, the role of the amount, type and period of exposure to speech in the process of learning English as a first-language. This paper explores a number of studies of typical and atypical children in the relevant literature. It concludes that language acquisition is driven both by innate ability and by environmental factors, i.e. society, or social elements are significant as activators of the human being’s innate ability to acquire language. According to this paper, the deprivation of socialisation is critical to many aspects of language development, most importantly syntactic, and least importantly phonological. Deficits in phonological aspects are only seen in the case of atypical children, and the cases of autistic children, while lexical development can be seen in both cases; typical and atypical. The results of the studies investigated in this paper suggest that syntax is aspect of language most affected by inadequate exposure to language. It also concluded that these three aspects of language acquisition are also likely to be influenced by a critical period, which is a proposal of nativism.
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