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First Language Acquisition: The Essential Readings

Barbara Lust (Editor), Claire Foley (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-631-23254-4
456 pages
January 2004, Wiley-Blackwell
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First Language Acquisition: The Essential Readings is a collection of pioneering classics that provide a framework for understanding current work in each of the basic areas of language acquisition: morphology, phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.

  • Collects classic works that provide the foundation for current research in the field of first language acquisition.
  • Includes selections from Noam Chomsky, Jean Piaget, Eric Lenneberg and Roman Jakobson, as well as others who contributed groundbreaking discoveries, insights, concepts, and methods.
  • Presents framework for understanding current work in each of the basic areas of language acquisition: morphology, phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.
  • Provides valuable resource for students and scholars of language acquisition, cognitive development, and cognitive science.
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Introduction: Barbara C. Lust (Cornell University) and Claire Foley (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Part I: Theory of Language Acquisition:.

1. Selections from Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin, and Use: Noam Chomsky (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

2. A Review of B.F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior: Noam Chomsky (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

3. Selections from The Psychology of the Child: Jean Piaget and Bärbel Inhelder.

4. Language and Learning: The Debate between Jean Piaget and Noam Chomsky: Massimo Piattelii-Palmarini (editor).

5. Selections from Comparative Linguistics and Language Acquisition: Hermine Sinclair (late of University of Geneva).

Part II: The Nature-Nurture Controversies:.

Nature: Biology.

6. Selections from The Biological Foundations of Language: Eric H. Lenneberg (late of Harvard University).

7. Language and the Brain: Norman Geschwind.

8. Selections from The Bisected Brain: Michael S. Gazzaniga (Dartmouth College).

9. The Linguistic Development of Genie: Susan Curtiss (UCLA), Victoria Fromkin (late of UCLA), Stephen Krashen (USC), David Rigler, & Marilyn Rigler.

Nurture: Role of the Input.

10. Derivational Theory and Order of Acquisition in Child Speech: Roger Brown (late of Harvard University) and Camille Hanlon (Connecticut College).

11. Talking to Children: A Search for Universals: Charles A. Ferguson (late of Stanford University).

12. Learning by Instinct: James L. Gould (Princeton University) & Peter Marler (University of California, Davis).

Mechanisms of Development.

13. Selections from Language and Experience: Evidence from the Blind Child: Barbara Landau (Johns Hopkins University) & Lila R. Gleitman (University of Pennsylvania).

14. Selections from Language Learnability and Language Development: Steven Pinker (Harvard University).

15. Selections from Learnability and Cognition: Steven Pinker (Harvard University).

16. Selection from Language Acquisition and Cognitive Development: H. Sinclair-deZwart (late of University of Geneva).

17. Selections from Cognitive Prerequisites for the Development of Grammar: Dan I. Slobin (University of California, Berkeley).

Part III: Areas of Language Knowledge:.

Morphology.

18. The Child’s Learning of English Morphology: Jean Berko (Gleason) (Boston University).

19. Selections from A First Language: Roger Brown (late of Harvard University).

Phonology.

Speech Perception.

20. Speech Perception in Infants: Peter D. Eimas (Brown University), Einar R. Siqueland (Brown University), Peter Jusczyk (late of Johns Hopkins University), and James Vigorito.

Speech Production.

21. The sound laws of child language and their place in general phonology: Roman Jakobson (late of MIT).

22. Universal Tendencies in the Child’s Acquisition of Phonology: N.V. Smith (University College London).

23. The acquisition of phonemic representation: David Stampe (University of Hawai'i, Manoa).

Syntax.

24. Selections from The Problem of Serial Order in Behavior: K.S. Lashley (late of Harvard University).

25. The Study of Adam, Eve, and Sarah: Roger Brown (late of Harvard University).

26. Syntactic Regularities in the Speech of Children: E.S. Klima (University of California, San Diego) and Ursula Bellugi (Salk Institute for Biological Studies).

27. The Reduction Transformation and Constraints on Sentence Length: Lois Bloom (Columbia University).

Semantics and Pragmatics.

28. The young word maker: A case study of innovation in the child’s lexicon: Eve V. Clark (Stanford University).

29. Strategies for Communicating: Eve V. Clark (Stanford University).

Index

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Barbara C. Lust is Professor in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University. She is one of the foremost researchers in first language acquisition and the author of numerous books and articles, including The Growth of Language.

Claire Foley is Visiting Scientist in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has published numerous papers on theoretical and empirical aspects of language acquisition.

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  • Collects classic works that provide the foundation for current research in the field of first language acquisition.

  • Includes selections from Noam Chomsky, Jean Piaget, Eric Lenneberg and Roman Jakobson, as well as others who contributed groundbreaking discoveries, insights, concepts, and methods.

  • Presents framework for understanding current work in each of the basic areas of language acquisition: morphology, phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.

  • Provides valuable resource for students and scholars of language acquisition, cognitive development, and cognitive science.
See More
"This volume is undoubtedly an outstanding compilation of classic papers on first language acquisition." The Linguist List

"An excellent selection of the classic readings in the science of language development, one that I have dearly missed until now. It is a perfect set of background readings for students and researchers interested in the intellectual roots of the field." Steven Pinker, Harvard University, and author of The Language Instinct and Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language


"A well-chosen treasure-house of key readings. They provide a superb grounding for anyone studying child language." Jean Aitchison, University of Oxford


"This reader is a great addition to the field, bringing together some of the classic literature that has stimulated debate on the nature of language acquisition for years. Its depth and breadth, in both philosophical and linguistic approaches to the problem, ensure that this volume will soon be a classic itself." Katherine Demuth, Brown University

"An excellent collection of classic works, highlighting contributions taking a linguistic approach to the subject of language acquisition." Diane Lillo-Martin, University of Connecticut

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