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ERIC Number: ED045975
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970
Pages: 183
Abstractor: N/A
The Acquisition of Language: The Study of Developmental Psycholinguistics.
McNeill, David
The theme of this book is the concept of a sentence and the role which it plays in child language acquisition. The author argues that the concept of a sentence is innately available to children and is the "main guiding principle in a child's attempt to organize and interpret the linguistic evidence that fluent speakers make available to him." Initial chapters summarize the arguments around which the book is organized and discuss methodological problems. Chapter 3 describes the structures that appear in child speech and argues that they suggest biological preparation. Chapter 4 places child language in the context of animal communication and considers the evolution of linguistic capacity. Chapter 5, containing the major theoretical arguments of the book, explains the facts of development presented in Chapter 3 and can be regarded as a further description, in linguistic and psychological terms, of the biological specialization discussed in Chapter 4. Chapter 6, on transformations, extends this argument from the universal to the idiosyncratic aspects of language. Chapter 7 then briefly discusses the role of language experience in the acquisition of transformations. Chapter 8 treats topics connected with semantic development, and the final chapter treats sound development. An appendix contains an introduction to the main ideas of transformational generative grammar. (Author/FWB)
Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 49 East 33rd Street, New York, N.Y. 10016
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A