Language Acquisition by Children

A Linguistic Introduction

Helen Goodluck

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An up-to-date introduction to language acquisition for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students in linguistics and cognitive science

  • Examples from a wide variety of languages including English, Chinese, Dutch, German, Kannada, Portuguese and Spanish
  • A clear theoretical stance, adopting Chomskyan generative grammar as a framework
  • Summary boxes, exercises and discussion questions at the end of each chapter to improve understanding, generate discussion and encourage reflection
  • Appendices of research techniques and resources to aid further study

Helen Goodluck adopts Chomskyan generative grammar as a framework to guide students through the growth of language in a typically developing child. She presents competing viewpoints and introduces the central controversies in the field in order to give students the opportunity to evaluate and reflect on these in relation to the examples and data presented. Summary boxes, exercises, discussion questions, an appendix of research techniques and suggestions for further reading are also included to develop deeper understanding, generate reflective discussion and aid further study.

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Extracts from the preface to the first edition
Preface to the second edition

Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. The acquisition of sound systems
Chapter 3. Morphological development
Chapter 4. The acquisition of syntax
Chapter 5. Further aspects of syntactic and semantic development
Chapter 6. Cognition, environment and language learning
Chapter 7. Performance development
Appendix 1. Methods in child language research
Appendix 2. Resources for child language research

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For anyone starting to explore language acquisition, Goodluck’s textbook sets the context for inquiry into the core areas of linguistic knowledge by introducing in an accessible way the issues and topics acquisition researchers have been actively and fruitfully pursuing since the 1980s.

Professor Martha Young-Scholten, Newcastle University
Helen Goodluck is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York.

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