The way children learn their native language has been the subject
of intense and widespread investigation in the last decades,
stimulated by advances in theoretical linguistics and the
behavioural sciences. For the student, this has meant a bewildering
number of research reports, often differing in their theoretical
viewpoint and the methodological approach they advocate, and
apparently conflicting in their conclusions. Child Language
provides the student with a cool, clear and concise survey of the
most important recent research work, and puts into perspective the
contributions made by Chomsky, Piaget and others. The research
surveyed, though primarily of English-speaking children, includes
studies of children whose first language is not English and
bilingual children. Dr Elliot believes that the study of child
language necessarily raises questions about the nature of language
- is human language something only humans can learn? - and about
learning itself - how does our ability to learn language depend on
biological factors, such as our age, and how important is our
social and linguistic environment? Little justification is found
for the view that language has an independent existence for the
young child, and their linguistic achievements are studied within
the context of their development in general.
Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
|Country of origin:
||Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics
Alison J. Elliot
||Electronic book text
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