To someone unfamiliar with the concept of child language acquisition, it would be easy to assume that the basis of learning speech is merely by the duplication of vocabulary and sentence structure heard around the young child. One of the early language development studies, carried out by Skinner, concluded that the crux of linguistic development was along such lines - in that children learn grammar by memorizing the words and sentences of their language. It
showed first 75 words of 1048 total
showed last 75 words of 1048 total
Whorf expanded on this framework, exploring the relationship between language, thought and culture by implying that thoughts and behaviour are controlled by a certain extent by language itself. The ultimate extrapolation of this conjecture is the emergence of 'Newspeak', as explored by George Orwell in "1984".
Language acquisition is a complex process, and new theories are still being formulated in order to try and explain an area of linguistics which has yet to be fully explored.