The Heritability of Language by Karin Stromswold

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Updated: May 08, 2023
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The journal article my group received is called The Heritability of Language by Karin Stromswold. The article is about how researchers were arguing the idea of how acquiring language was due to a specific language. The central argument of our journal was about how researchers were arguing if it came from our DNA or wondering if it was another specific genetic factor, and the different genetic studies that were expressed throughout the experiment. Even our theoretical linguist has their different opinions on what our argument was about.

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For example Noam Chomsky idea was the universal grammar was right that we were born with the capacity for language.

Throughout the article it talks about the differences on how it could be hereditary, and the different developments. It really emphasis on the way the two types of twins, identical and fraternal, are learning the genetic functions of speech, and if the language is actually heritability. Not only did the researchers argue on their different ideas, but also gave their evidence that supported their arguments. When it came to testing the genetic studies, the researchers did their own genetic studies that only revealed their evidence. It all tied again with Chomsky’s theory on how language was universal, and it all came as a result for people’s genetic factors. (Stromswold, Pg. 652)

The experiments came around after testing people if language was being developed hereditary, but they came to the conclusion that not enough information was being given. Also, it contradicted the researcher evidence affecting their main point like the family aggregation studies of language disorders because it starts to give the idea on how the hereditary system worked towards family. Although the journal article has plenty of ideas on how hereditary was affecting speech and our language it does give examples that help understand how it was implemented towards individuals. I have learned that we don’t only one specific thing that make language. The role of genetic factor in the language has different roles. The article explains the perspective on the overview of what would happened when it comes to twin methodologies. It can affect their spoken language disorder.

However, most of the time it would matter depending on their stand whether they are identical or fraternal twins. Identical twins share the exactly the same things, and when it comes to fraternal they only share 5o% of their genetic material which language is involved.

As an experiment towards identical and fraternal twins they compared their rates, and traits to be able to get a result if it was coming from their genetic factors. We were given several analyses explaining into detailed what fraternal and identical twins were scoring on their language tests. “Group differences heritability is a measure of the heritability of a trait in a population suffering from a disorder, whereas differences heritability is a measure of the heritability of a trait in the general population” (Stromswold, Pg. 656).

Since it is filled with experiment results, we came to the conclusion that is fifty percent of Dizygotic twins, non identical, share their genetic material which includes their language disorders. Monozygotic twins, identical twins, who share exactly the same genetic similarities are known to become more linguistically, and can expand on their language differently as time passes. Some other facts that I have learned throughout the article is that twins may have different characteristics, but may share similar traits with each other.

For example, in Colorado they ran a test where twins came out dyslexic directing the genetic factor as the principal of the problem. It may not only affect their dyslexic ability, but also could be a factor to the studies on language impairment it is all due to language and the ability to understand the criteria into depth. We are learning the main factor of how acquiring language is important to know for all people. In class we got examples of different people like Genie. The film of a young girl who wasn’t able to develop language till after the critical period.

However, in the article in talks about the understanding of what language stands for and the factor it comes with like vocabulary. Vocabulary is extremely important for our language since the technique is what helps us understand the meaning of words especially learning phonology, morphology, syntax and articulation which should be the first few steps of the big picture. Sometimes we have children who come with a language disorder that it is hard to make them speak since they are struggling with their speech. When children have different disorder it affects their speech exactly the reason why theorists are trying to find the gene that they believe is affecting children’s minds.

Adoption takes a role in this type of situation as well. The researcher have their own opinion with adoption as well which is if an adopted children has speech problems it should resemble to the adopted relatives not the biological parents. The final idea we got from the theorist was to understand the idea on how genetic factor could work differently for every person individually.

The Monozygotic twins are going to have a bigger change to get a language disorder compare to a dizygotic twin. It is important to take into existence everyone and understand what they go through. (OWN WORDS) After all I made the conclusion that I don’t agree with the author’s opinion. My opinion may differ from the author due to the fact that we aren’t born with a language since birth. We are taught to learn a language throughout our lives, and we are really pushed to learn new languages through the critical period. However, the article helped me learn new issues that I never thought about. For example, I never thought twins could have a language disorder especially if it only depended whether they are fraternal or identical twins. We are truly wonder if does heritable matters when it comes to acquire a language do they affect speech. My mother’s brothers are fraternal twins, and she said one of my uncles’ speech developed faster. It might not be a heritability factor. The idea is to be able to understand what goes through our minds when we are acquiring language.

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The Heritability of Language by Karin Stromswold. (2021, Apr 02). Retrieved from