bio·​pro·​gram ¦bī-(ˌ)ō-¦prō-ˌgram How to pronounce bioprogram (audio)
plural bioprograms
: a genetically programmed sense of grammatical structures and relationships that is postulated as an innate human capacity and that can be seen in similarities in the grammatical development of creoles
And the grammatical rules that emerge, says Mr. [Derek] Bickerton, are remarkably constant from one creole language to the next. (This fact figured centrally in his hypothesis that every child is born with a bioprogram for language.)Robert Wright, New York Times Book, 23 Dec. 1990
Studies of how children learn to speak support the idea that creoles reflect a linguistic bioprogram, for early-childhood language strongly resembles creole structures.Sharon Begley, Newsweek, 15 Mar. 1982
Is the judging of syntactic grammaticality in one's native language a uniform and universal ability, with such judgments referring directly to an innate bioprogram?Anthony Diller, The Role of Theory in Language Description, 1993

Word History

First Known Use

1982, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bioprogram was in 1982

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Dictionary Entries Near bioprogram

Cite this Entry

“Bioprogram.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

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