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Tarzan Short Response Sample 2

How plausible is the story of Tarzan in terms of an infants cognitive

and language development? How would it play out in real life?

The story of Tarzan is that his family was killed when he was just
a baby and for the rest of his life he was raised by apes in the jungle.
By the time he turns around 18 he meets Jane and she exposes him to
humans for the first time and teaches him how to speak English,
which will be considered his first ever experience with human
language. Judging the story from a behaviorist or neural point of view
it is said to be almost impossible for him to learn a completely new
language without any background knowledge of it that far in his life.
The theory of sensitive and critical periods for language acquisition
state that every human has a period in their life when their ability to
learn a new language is at its highest.
Language acquisition is a form of biologically constrained
learning that is usually acquired during a critical period, which for
humans is early childhood to puberty. At this stage in the humans life
the babys brain is believed to be very sensitive to formal properties of
the language theyre learning like phonology, morphology and syntax.
Children grasp languages best at this stage and that is shown further
in life when their performance in the said language is exceedingly
better than of a person who learned the language at a later stage.
There is a difference in a persons performance in his first and second
languages due to the different ages they were learned at, second
language being weaker. The later the person starts to learn a
language after the beginning of the critical period, the lower their
performance in that language will be.
The critical period for acquiring a language ends after puberty,
which Tarzan had already gone through when he met Jane. Since Jane
tried to teach him the English language after the critical period, the
probability of him actually acquiring it and being able to use it is
extremely low, and that being his first exposure to any human
language will make it almost impossible. If Tarzan did somehow learn
the language, his performance would be extremely low. He would
possibly be able to learn some words and their meanings, but his use
and structure of sentences will be very poor. His brain will not be able
to focus on the formal properties of language such as phonology.
Judging by all of this information I would conclude that it would be
almost impossible for Tarzan to acquire a language that late in his life
to the degree of being able to communicate with other humans like