Author Topic: they, in turn  (Read 7172 times)

Offline longman3575

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they, in turn
« on: September 17, 2013, 07:18:12 am »
What does the underlined part refer to?

Some linguists think humans have grammar genes that are programmed to turn on around age three in much the same way that the genes for permanent teeth are activated around age six.  According to their theory, the human ability to acquire grammar may have a specific window of opportunity during brain development. A child who misses out on informal exposure to grammar through other people's talking, reading, signing, or singing will eventually lose the ability to speak grammatically even though he or she can go on absorbing new vocabulary words indefinitely. To add to this argument, psychologist Elissa Newport at the University of Rochester studied a group of deaf people and the ages at which they were first exposed to language. In her study, infants exposed to American Sign Language starting immediately after being diagnosed as deaf achieved higher fluency in the language than deaf children first exposed at age six. They, in turn, were more grammatically correct and proficient signers than deaf teenagers first exposed after age twelve.

Offline Britta

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Re: they, in turn
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2013, 07:33:05 am »
What does the underlined part refer to?

deaf children first exposed at age six
 
I think "the latter" or "these" would have been a better choice than "they".
 
p.s. On second thoughts: From a grammar point of view, "they" should actually refer to the subject of the previous sentence. However, this contradicts the logic of what is said. It should be "A is better than B, but B is better than C" and not "A is better than B, but A is better than C".
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 07:40:28 am by Britta »
If it's not used by a native speaker it's not idiomatic. And idiom trumps grammar every time. Jack Wilkerson†

Offline admin

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Re: they, in turn
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2013, 10:42:04 am »
They = infants exposed to American Sign Language starting immediately after being diagnosed as deaf
Best wishes,

Duncan

Offline Britta

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Re: they, in turn
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2013, 09:16:52 am »
Duncan
 
Technically speaking, you are right, but what does "in turn" mean. If you are right a simple "and" would have been sufficient.
 
Logically we have: infants exposed to American Sign Language starting immediately after being diagnosed as deaf:
 
  • achieved higher fluency in the language than deaf children first exposed at age six.
  • in turn, were more grammatically correct and proficient signers than deaf teenagers first exposed after age twelve.
If it's not used by a native speaker it's not idiomatic. And idiom trumps grammar every time. Jack Wilkerson†

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Re: they, in turn
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2013, 12:06:43 pm »
Sorry Britta, you are right.

They , in turn = the children first exposed at six.

So, basically, the earlier, the better.
Best wishes,

Duncan