Child Language Acquisition

Child Language Acquisition : Contrasting Theoretical Approaches

4 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , By (author) 

List price: US$38.00

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


Is children's language acquisition based on innate linguistic structures or built from cognitive and communicative skills? This book summarises the major theoretical debates in all of the core domains of child language acquisition research (phonology, word-learning, inflectional morphology, syntax and binding) and includes a complete introduction to the two major contrasting theoretical approaches: generativist and constructivist. For each debate, the predictions of the competing accounts are closely and even-handedly evaluated against the empirical data. The result is an evidence-based review of the central issues in language acquisition research that will constitute a valuable resource for students, teachers, course-builders and researchers more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 464 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 44 b/w illus. 12 tables
  • 1139006053
  • 9781139006057

Review quote

'The focus on theoretical debates, and inclusion of multiple methodologies, is welcome, valuable, and informative.' Letitia Naigles, University of Connecticut '... an excellent first step towards opening a dialog and closing the gap between generative and constructivist approaches to language learning, allowing progress beyond the traditional nature-nurture dialectic in language science ... Readers will see how theory-driven investigation in language acquisition can advance our understanding of the unique human capacity for language.' Jeffrey Lidz, University of Maryland '... an unusual and very important book. The question of how children acquire their native language is of tremendous interest to scholars in a broad range of fields. Not surprisingly, it has also led to many lively disagreements. Ambridge and Lieven have chosen to focus on these theoretical debates. The coverage of issues is impressive, but even more impressive is the extraordinarily careful and detailed analyses of competing theories and of the empirical data. The authors' treatments are fair and even-handed ... The result is an extremely valuable contribution to the literature, and one that significantly advances our understanding of the field.' Jeff Elman, University of California, San Diego 'An ambitious, comprehensive and remarkably up-to-date adventure in adjudicating between nativist and constructivist approaches to human language acquisition. There's still room left for disagreement, especially on matters of interpretation, but graduate students and newcomers to the field of language acquisition who want to know the lay of the land would do well to start here.' Gary Marcus, New York University and author of The Birth of the Mind and Kluge: The Haphazard Evolution of the Human Mindshow more

About Ben Ambridge

Ben Ambridge is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Liverpool. He has published numerous articles on child language acquisition with a particular focus on the acquisition of syntax and morphology and the retreat from overgeneralization error. Elena Lieven is a Professor and Senior Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig and the Director of the Max Planck Child Study Centre, University of Manchester. She is best known for her work on naturalistic corpus data, and is a former editor of the Journal of Child more

Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. Speech perception, segmentation and production; 3. Learning word meaning; 4. Theoretical approaches to grammar acquisition; 5. Inflection; 6. Simple syntax; 7. Movement and complex syntax; 8. Binding, quantification and control; 9. Related debates and more

Rating details

7 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 29% (2)
4 43% (3)
3 29% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X