The process of acquisition and mastery of the language of children is an issue that is
vulnerable and quite amazing for researchers in the field Psycholinguistics. How humans acquire
language is an issue that is very admirable and difficult to prove. Various theories from several
different disciplines have been put forward by researchers to explain how this process applies to
the children.
And have been confirmed by linguists that language as a communication tool is
genetically only in humans, not found in other living beings. Humans interact with each other
through communication in the form of language. Communication occurs both verbally and non-
verbally are by writing, reading and sign or symbol. The language itself is a complex process that
does not just happen. Humans communicate through language requires a process that develops in
stages of age.
Child is a very unique creature, there has never been even one child with exactly the
same with the other children, even if they are twins. Since birth, the child as an individual
creature who has brought a number of potential contained within him. The potential to develop
optimally when it is stimulated emergence potential, in terms of environmental stimulation in the
current sensitive period comes.
The growth and development of children is not the same from one other child, this is
because the child is a unique creature that has a tempo and rhythm of development of each body.
The process of development of children walking naturally and is characterized by a pattern
characteristic of a more or less predictable. Infancy aged 7-12 months of age that is important
because it is the basis for the further development of the child. (Yuliani & Bambang Sujiono:
2005). Because in times these children have a very significant development in itself, be it
physical or developmental progress in the process of language acquisition.
In this study the authors observed the process of language acquisition that occurred in the
author's own nephew's friend. Here the authors observed directly in a relatively short period of
time. Addition information’s from the parents and the people who have been involved directly
with these children. The writer interested to observe the child in addition to often met and the
writer also often played directly adjacent to her in her house. The writer would like to observe
further that the process of language acquisition in children based on the theory of Nativism and

a. Statement of the Problem
The statement of the problem can be formulated in the following question:
How do children accomplish their first language acquisition based on the theory of
Nativism and Behaviorism?
b. The Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the research is to find out children accomplish their first language
acquisition based on the theory of Nativism and Behaviorism.

A. Definition Language Acquisition
Naturally the child will recognize the language as a way to communicate with those
around him. The first language is known and further controlled by a boy called mother tongue
(native language). Language is a form of rules or system symbols used in children communicate
and adapt to the environment are carried out to exchange ideas, thoughts and emotions.
Language can be expressed through verbal speech refers to the symbol. Besides that, the
language can also be expressed through writing, music and gestural marks.
According to Simanjuntak (1982) suggested that language acquisition is the acquisition
of language by someone indirectly and said to be active if among children aged 2-6 years in the
environment. This is not the same as adults in acquiring language levels are not as good as the
Before a baby can use the word, they express their needs and feelings through sound,
which starts from weeping, and raving then imitation accidentally, and without knowing its
meaning, and finally imitating the purpose, which can be known by prelinguistc speech
(language prelinguistic) . And usually babies start talking at the end of the first year, and began
to speak in sentences in the first month or before eight months to a year later. (Diane E, S. W, &
Papalia: 2008). According to Lester & Boukydis in D. E, S. W, & Papalia, crying is the only way
a newborn baby to communicate, various tones, pattern, and intensity to signal hunger, regulate,
or angry.
Babies understand many languages before they can use it. The first word of the most
understood by infants is most often hear them: their names and the word "do not" and words that
have special meaning for them. (Diane E, Sally W, and Papalia: 2008). At the age of 13 months,
most children understand the words that are intended for specific things or events, and they can
quickly learn the meanings and new words (Woodward, Markman, and Fitzsimmons: 1994).
More Far, Skinner of the Papalia, S. W, D. E & Old, (2008) explained that the learning
language is similar with the other learning process, based on the experience. It means that If
there are more words that are heard by the children, so it can make the language learning process
of the children better and it will be happened if the children much heard some words that are
heard from their environment, the place where the children live.
Chomsky refers to the opinion of the Papalia, S. W, D. E & Old, (1972) which states that
the human brain has an innate ability to acquire language, the process of a baby learning to talk
as natural to the process of learning to walk, he stated that the tools to master the language of
innate inborn language acquisition device (LAD) program the child's brain to analyze the
language they hear and discover the rules, said Chomsky (1995) attempted to identify a series of
simple universal principles underlying all languages and a mechanism that serves to connect the
sound with meaning.
Some experts believes that the current development of language acquisition, like most
other aspects of development, depending on the entanglement between the innate and the nature
of teaching (nature and nurture). The children are very likely to have the ability to master the
language, which can be activated or generated through experience regardless of whether they can
or cannot hear.
It can be concluded from what has been described above, that the process of language
acquisition or other developmental aspects of it depends on the entanglement between the innate
and the nature of teaching.

B. Stages of Language Acquisition
Need to know that a child does not suddenly have grammar B1 in the brain and complete
with all the rules. B1 obtained in several stages and each subsequent stage closer to the grammar
of adult language. According to linguists divide the stage into language acquisition and linguistic
prelinguistic stage. However, this establishment is disputed by many people who say that the
prelinguistic stage it cannot be considered the beginning because of the language sounds like
cries and whimpers are controlled by the stimulus (stimulus) alone, which is an automatic
response to stimuli child hunger, pain, desire to be picked up, and feelings of pleasure.
Therefore, the stages of language acquisition are discussed in this paper is a linguistic stage
which consists of several stages, namely (1) Babble stages (babbling), (2) one-word stage
(holofrastis), (3) phase of two words; (4) stage resembles a wire (telegraphic speech).
1. Vocalizations sound
At approximately 6 weeks of age, babies begin noises in the form of screaming, whining,
and snore. Issued by the baby sound similar to the sound of a consonant or vowel. However,
these sounds cannot be ascertained because the shape is not clearly audible. Fromkin and
Rodman (1993:395) mentioned that the sound cannot be regarded as a language. Most experts
say that the sound produced by this baby is sounds of snore / vocalization language / cooing
After vocalization stage, babies begin to babble (babling). Babble is a speech that has a
single syllable like you and da. As for the age of the baby babble cannot be determined with
certainty. Mar'at (2005:43) mentioned that the babbling stage occurs between the ages of 5 and 6
months. Dardjowidjojo (2005: 244) mentioned that the babble stage occurs around the age of 6
months. Not only that. There are also some experts said that the chatter occurs at the age of 8 to
10 months.
At this babble stage, the child has produced different vowel and consonant like fricatives
and nasal. They also began mixing consonants with a vowel. Chatter starts with a consonant and
followed by a vowel. The first exit is consonant consonant bilabial nasal bilabial and inhibitory.
Vowel is / a /. Thus, its structure is KV. Another feature of the chatter is about 8 months of ages,
KV syllable structure is then repeated so comes structures such as:
V1 K1 K1 K1 V1 V1 ... papapa mamama Bababa...
Parents associate the word with (dad) papa and mama with mother despite what we have in mind
is not known. Not impossible chatter was just a mere articulatory (Djardjowidjojo, 2005:245).
2. Phase One-word or Holofrastis
This stage takes place when the child is aged between 12 and 18 months. Utterances
containing single words spoken child to refer to the objects that are encountered in daily. At this
stage the child also began using a series of repetitive sound for the same meaning. This stage is
called stage one word of the phrase or sentence, which means that a child's spoken word is a
complete concept, such as "mam" (I'm eating); "pa" (I want papa is here), "Ma "(I want mama
3. Two-Word Stage, One Phrase
This stage takes place when the child is 18-20 months old. Utterances consisting of two
words begin to appear like mama and papa mam participate. Holofrastis, if at this stage of the
child's spoken utterance is not necessarily determined meaning, at this stage of the two words,
the child's speech should be interpreted according to the context.
4. Telegraphic speech
At the age of 2 and 3 years, children begin to generate double-word utterances (multiple-
word utterances) or also called telegraphic speech. Children have also been able to form
sentences and sort the forms correctly. Child's vocabulary is growing rapidly reach hundreds of
words and pronunciation of words more similar to adult language.
C. First Language Acquisition Theories (Teory of Nativism and Behaviorism)

Chomsky is the adherents of Nativism. According to him, the language can only be
controlled by humans, animals may not be able to master the language of humans. Chomsky
opinion is based on several assumptions. First, language behavior is something that is passed
down (genetic), every language has a similar development (something that is universal), and an
environment that has a small role in the maturation process of the language. Second, the
language can be mastered in a relatively short time. Third, the child's language environment
cannot provide enough data for the mastery of complex grammar of the mature. According to
this genre, language is complex and complicated that it is impossible to be mastered in a short
time through the "imitation". Nativism also believed that every human being is born already
equipped with a means to acquire language (Language Acquisition Device, abbreviated LAD).
Of what languages would depend on the child acquired the language used by the surrounding
community. For example, a child who grew up in the American so English language certainly is
a first language. Without LAD, a child may not be able to master the language in a short time
and can master complex language system. LAD also allowed a child cannot distinguish the
sounds of language and the sounds of language.
One of the earliest scientific explanations of language acquisition was provided
by Skinner (1957). As one of the pioneers of behaviorism, he accounted for language
development by means of environmental influence. Skinner argued that children learn language
based on behaviorist reinforcement principles by associating words with meanings. Correct
utterances are positively reinforced when the child realizes the communicative value of words
and phrases. For example, when the child says ‘milk’ and the mother will smile and give her
some as a result, the child will find this outcome rewarding, enhancing the child's language
development (Ambridge & Lieven, 2011).


This study used the descriptive analytical method, with the sense that any data obtained
are described and analyzed for what it is. In this study there are children, who were sampled,
which will be observed language development.
In accordance with the above explanation, the researcher took a sample named Najwa
Khanza Pratiwi (13 months). He was the first child of a mother who named Fathu Rizqi, S.H. (27
years old) and her father named Aan Aswari, M.H (28 years old). Fathu Rizqi is my neighbor
and his sister named Nurma’rifah is my best friend at senior high school until now. Najwa’s
mother works as advocate and Najwa’s father works as a lecturer of law department. They
married in December 2012. The instrument of this research is the interview najwa's mother. The
author provides 12 questions to find out his first language acquisition process. From the answer
of the questions the researcher will analyze the process of language acquisition of the sample

The Language Acquisition Process of Najwa
Language acquisition is defined as a process that was first made by a person to get
language in accordance with the cognitive potential possessed by the received speech based on
naturally. Language which was first known and obtained the children in his life is Mother
language (mother language) or often referred to as a first language (first language). Language is
what initially known by young children and is used in everyday life as the language of
The researcher has a friend who has a niece who is very cute and pretty her name is
Najwa (1 year old), Najwa was an active child and agile in their daily life. And here the author
chose najwa as the sampled of child's first language research. Because the writer often visited
house where Najwa lived and because the location of her house is next door to my house. We are
neighboring, as well as her aunt is the best friend of the researcher. Everyday Najwa entrusted to
her aunt until 12 a.m, after that she was nurtured by her grandmother and grandfather until her
parents return to work. The researcher herself was more likely closer to Najwa probably due to
the location of the house next door and if the afternoon she is taken care of by her aunt (my best
friends), So the researcher often observed and saw her development, both of physical
development and language acquisition process.
According to the theory of Nativism like children his age, Najwa has now been able to
say a few words like Mama, papa, mamma(to eat), mimi'(to drink). In line with the opinion and
the conscience Yuliani Sujiono Bambang (2005) said that the first year is critical for children's
development, after passing through the pre-linguistic children entering linguistics, this is when
the child begins to utter the words of the first and focused on the object clearly. And According
to the theory of Behaviorism, Najwa has also been able to wave ( bye.. bye ...), nodding which
means "yes" and shaking her head means "no". He also will show the fear and dislike to people
who are not known for avoiding and weep, if there are other people who do not recognize.
Najwa’s mother during her pregnancy had no difficulties or obstacles, because her
mother was keeping her pregnancy as well as possible because it is the first pregnancy of her life,
she often asked her friends who are already experienced in the process of pregnancy, although
the age of the content is increasingly old mother also still works and doing her activities, because
doing that will made simplify the process of giving birth. And it all proved, because at the time
everything of her birthing went smoothly and normally, and Najwa was born have weighing 3.8
kg and a length of 49 cm.



Based on the results of the above discussion it can be concluded that the process of
language acquisition in Najwa going normally and in accordance with the proper circumstances.
Every word was immediately stated by her and absorbed directly into her brain memory. Based
on the first language acquisition process of Najwa and the other children who refer to the theory
of Nativism and Behaviorism theory are true. If language is the nature, the language of all the
people in the world must be the same, because basically people got the same 'quota'. This is
evident from the language of babies. They only able to cry, cannot speak. The crying is not
patterned like when people talk, but can still understand by the meaning. All babies do that, so it
can be said that the language of babies, like crying, is innate (nature) of a human being because
each child has been supplied by the LAD. After experiencing infancy, humans grow and develop
properly. Of course, human cognition also growing. A baby who initially only able to cry and
laugh, start learning how to pronounce a word, like the word "Mom", "Dad", and others. This
was the beginning of people can speak well verbally. This shows the truth of the theory of
Skinner and the behaviorists, that language comes from learning and reinforcement (from

Advice to authors on the process of language acquisition Najwa here, just need to be
improved, and parents should be sensitive and respond to problems that occur in their
development, be it physical or developmental process of language acquisition in their children.
Because, that determine good and bad language in children is parental guidance and those that
exist in her surroundings.


Child is a very unique creature, there has never been even one child with exactly the
same with the other children, even if they are twins. Since birth, the child as an individual
creature has brought a number of potential contained within him/her.
Language acquisition is a process that is done by a child naturally when she learned her
mother tongue. The writer interested in studying about the process of languages acquisition
based on the nativsm theory and intends to know about: How do children accomplish their first
language acquisition based on the theory of nativism and behaviorism? In this case, qualitative
research is needed to answer this problem.
The writer analyzes the process of child first language acquisition, which uses a sample.
The researchers took a sample named Najwa (13 months). The writer used the answers from the
result interview to the sample’s (Najwa) mother for getting data and analyses them. The writer
found that the Sample, Najwa has development of language acquisition that appropriate with the
theory of Nativism that explained if every human being is born already equipped with a means to
acquire language (Language Acquisition Device, abbreviated LAD). About what languages
would depend on the child acquired the language that used by the surrounding community.
Najwa was born and growing up in Indonesia so Indonesian language certainly is her first
language because it was used by her mother and the other people in her surroundings. Like
children his age, Najwa has been able to say a few words like Mama, papa, mamma (to eat),
mimi'(to drink). Najwa has also been able to wave to show good bye (bye..bye sign), like the
people in her surroundings. She able to nodding which mean "yes" and shaking his head which
mean "no". This shows the truth of the theory of Skinner and the behaviorists, that language
comes from learning and reinforcement (from others and environment). The processes of
language acquisition in Najwa were going normally. But however, just need to be improved, and
parents should be sensitive and respond to the problems that may occur in their development, be
it physical or developmental process of language acquisition in children.

Najwa Khanza Pratiwi

“Language Acquisition”


105 35 447 210


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