This paper discusses various theories of how language is acquired.
This paper explains that the study of sociolinguistics begins with understanding how the individual conceptualizes and accumulates the knowledge of a language. The author points out that the basic theory is a child attains the knowledge of language through experience with others around them by seeing verbal interaction and then, as part of their maturation process, begins to replicate the behavior. The paper relates that, in his theory of cognitive development, Piaget evaluated language development, an intelligent action, as a function of adapting to one’s environment.
In short, the child receives direct and indirect feedback and modeling in order to learn the habits and ability of language. The child first learns individual sounds, and attempts to find commonalities within the sound patterns, and then puts the common sounds together into specific words which obtain meaning through usage. The specific methods by which these abilities are passed along from adult to child are called linguistic theory, and there are a handful of major theories of language acquisition.