Discussion Questions

  1. Why might cultures differ in the way we process what we read, with some cultures reading from right to left and others left to right?

  2. At what age should people be able to abide by Gricean maxims of cooperative conversation? Are Gricean maxims the basis for sarcasm?

  3. Chomsky believed in a universal Language Acquisition Device (LAD). Are individuals born with congenital brain defects that affect speech missing the LAD?

  4. Genie was individual who was locked in a closet from birth and had virtually no exposure to language. As a result, she was unable to develop language fully despite extensive training in her teens and early adulthood. Do individuals like Genie make up for her lack of language with other sensory systems? Do you think brain imaging would support the idea that visual or auditory centers in Genie’s brain are relatively more overdeveloped than “normal” individuals?

  5. How do you think the increasing use of emojis is affecting language?