How Children Learn to Learn Language

How Children Learn to Learn Language

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Studies of language acquisition often asume that children will simply begin to learn language, without questioning what sets the whole process in motion. In How Children Learn to Learn Language, Lorraine McCune thoroughly examines the often-neglected topic of how children discover the possibility of language and demonstrates that pre-language development involves a dynamic system of social, cognitive, and vocal variables that come together to enable the transition to referential language. The relationship with a caregiver is integral to this development because language is a system of symbolic communication that can emerge only with children's recognition that they are separate from others. McCune sees language learning as constructed equally from needing to develop meanings and learning to produce the sounds sequences that represent them. In order for this dual construction to be effective, however, children must discover their capacity to refer to objects and events in the world by having their internal states of focused attention accompanied by an autonomic, physiologically based vocalization, which is the grunt that results from physical or mental effort. When the grunt is intensified and directed at a conversational partner, as when children attempt to convey an internal state, it becomes their first more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 160 x 238 x 20mm | 498.95g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 10 black & white photographs and 30 line illustrations
  • 0195177878
  • 9780195177879

Review quote excellent addition to any undergraduate or graduate class on developmental psychology and especially welcome in graduate-level classes in psychology, learning, or both. * PsycCRITIQUES *show more

About Lorraine McCune

Professor and Department Chair, Department of Educational Psychology, Rutgers Universityshow more

Table of contents

1. A Perspective ; 2. Primary Relationships and the Symbol Situation ; 3. Entering Language: The First Phase ; 4. Cognitive Bases of Language ; 5. Motion Events, Dynamic-Event Words, and the Transition to Verbs ; 6. Representational Play and Language ; 7. The Vocal Story: Forming Sounds into Words ; 8. Prelinguistic Communication: Grunts as a Gateway to Language ; 9. Dynamic Systems in Language Development and Language Productionshow more