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ERIC Number: ED313136
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Apr-28
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Meaning the Missing Piece.
Nelson, Katherine
Issues of meaning have become central concerns of research on language development. There are at least four reasons for the neglect of meaning by earlier researchers. First, Chomsky's original theory assumed that syntax could be described and explained independently of meaning. Second, linguists had long assumed that semantics was too messy and difficult to get involved in. Third, psychologists viewed semantics as too easy and transparent. Fourth, issues of meaning, as defined in adopted philosophical models, seemed to psychologists and linguists to be too remote from the problems faced by the language-learning child. This paper: (1) indicates how each of these four reasons for neglect gave way in the light of new research; (2) sketches some recent approaches that address lexical meaning as a problem in its own right; and (3) describes a framework considered appropriate for further research into the process of how language is learned and the question of how word meanings and concepts relate to each other. The general approach described constitutes a functional framework for conceptual and semantic development, one that is based on the assumption that the child's mind is a system that is open to the potential and constraints of the social, cultural, and communicative world in which the child develops. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A