Does a universal grammar exist?When we learn a language, we also learn its grammar. When children learn their native language, this happens automatically. They don't notice that their brain is learning various rules. Despite this, they learn their native language correctly from the beginning. Given that many languages exist, many grammar systems exist too. But is there also a universal grammar? Scientists have been studying this for a long time. New studies could provide an answer. Because brain researchers have made an interesting discovery. They had test subjects study grammar rules. These subjects were language school students. They studied Japanese or Italian. Half of the grammar rules were totally fabricated.
However, the test subjects didn't know that. The students were presented with sentences after studying. They had to assess whether or not the sentences were correct. While they were working through the sentences, their brains were analyzed. That is to say, the researchers measured the activity of the brain. This way they could examine how the brain reacted to the sentences. And it appears that our brain recognizes grammar! When processing speech, certain brain areas are active. The Broca Center is one of them. It is located in the left cerebrum. When the students were faced with real grammar rules, it was very active. With the fabricated rules on the other hand, the activity decreased considerably. So it could be that all grammar systems have the same basis. Then they would all follow the same principles. And these principles would be inherent in us…