Nature and Nurture of Twins

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First of all, it describes the genetic and environmental influences on an infant. "Nature" stands for genetic or biological influence and "Nurture" for the environmental or social influence. As Weirich describes it: "The factors Nature and Nurture can be described and specified as biological determinants (i.e. genetics, physiology, biomechanics) and non-biological determinants (i.e. social environment, learning, linguistic factors)" (Weirich 1).

Both Nature and Nurture are important in human speech production and perception. "Nature can influence fine-phonetic details (e.g. the shape of the palate affects articulatory variability) and in Nurture speakers have choices they make or do not make" (Weirich 27).

In connection with twins, biological factors play a role, like "birth weight and score and time of gestation" (Vratny-Smith 2013). Birth weight in so far, that twins are often premature and low in their birth weight, which might cause a delay of "the adaptability of brain's speech areas" (Schüller 17).

Environmental variables, "such as the amount of verbal interaction with parents" (Vratny-Smith 2013), can also negatively influence twins in regard to their language. The language learning environment is very unique; there is a wider range of social factors that can cause a delay in speech, for example, "their parents may have less time to attend to them individually and to help them develop verbal skills" (Schüller 17), and also the twins, who have a strong interest to communicate with each another, which hinders them to learn and train new vocabulary. Stromwold also states that postnatal and psychological factors, such as the "quantity or quality of adult linguistic input that children receive" (Stromswold 2013), could either have a positive or negative impact.

 

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