First Verbs

First Verbs : A Case Study of Early Grammatical Development

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During the second year of his daughter's life, Michael Tomasello kept a detailed diary of her language, creating a rich database. He made a careful study of how she acquired her first verbs and analysed the role that verbs played in her early grammatical development. Using a Cognitive Linguistics framework, the author argues persuasively that the child's earliest grammatical organization is verb-specific (the Verb Island hypothesis). He argues further that early language is acquired by means of very general cognitive and social-cognitive processes, especially event structures and cultural learning. The richness of the database and the analytical tools used make First Verbs a particularly useful and important book for developmental psychologists, linguists, language development researchers and speech pathologists.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 162 x 236 x 29mm | 730g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0521374960
  • 9780521374965

Table of contents

Acknowledgments; 1. Introduction; 2. In the beginning was the verb; 3. Methods and an introduction to T's language; 4. Change of state verbs and sentences; 5. Activity verbs and sentences; 6. Other grammatical structures; 7. The development of T's verb lexicon; 8. The development of T's grammar; 9. Language acquisition as cultural learning; References; Appendix; Index.
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Review quote

"...many readers will undoubtedly find the volume illuminating..." Lynn Eubank, Studies in Second Language Acquisitions "...a useful book for those interested in understanding the sometimes controversial claims that Tomasello proposes....[A]n excellent reference material even for those researchers who are unsympathetic to the cognitive linguistic approach." Jacqueline S. Johnson, Contemporary Psychology "...a valuable contribution to the child-language literature because of the author's thorough analusis and his boldness in choosing solutions to conceptual problems and then marching on." Lorraine McCune, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly
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