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Child Language

Child Language
Acquisition and Development

Second Edition

© 2017 | 408 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Presented with the latest thinking and research on how children acquire their first language, this new Second Edition helps readers develop the skills to engage with key debates and current research in the field of child language. This practical text assumes the reader has no background knowledge of linguistic theory and all specialist terms are introduced in clear, non-technical language. A theme running through the book is the nature-nurture debate, rekindled in the modern era by Noam Chomsky, with his belief that the child is born with a rich knowledge of language. Child Language is rare in its balanced presentation of evidence from both sides of the nature-nurture divide. The reader is then encouraged to adopt a critical stance throughout and weigh up the evidence for themselves.
Chapter 1: Landmarks in the Landscape of Child Language
Chapter 2: Can Animals Acquire Human Language? Shakespeare's Typewriter
Chapter 3: The Critical Period Hypothesis: Now or Never?
Chapter 4: Input and Interaction: Tutorials for Toddlers
Chapter 5: Language in the First Year: Breaking the Sound Barrier
Chapter 6: The Developing Lexicon: What's in a Name?
Chapter 7: The Acquisition of Morphology: Linguistic Lego
Chapter 8: Linguistic Nativism: To the Grammar Born
Chapter 9: The Usage-Based Approach: Making It up as You Go along
Chapter 10: You Say Nature, I Say Nurture: Better Call the Calling off off

This is an excellent book. It is built upon a solid review of current and past research, but brings fresh perspectives to our thinking about children's language development.

Dr David Waugh
School of Education, Durham University
October 13, 2017

Matthew Saxton's 'Child Language' is a fascinating book, giving insight into the ways in which children develop the ability to speak. Starting from pre-birth and tracing the many stages of development up to mature speaking ability, it is a thorough and engaging read. Written in an accessible and sometimes humorous style, difficult or unfamiliar concepts are dealt with in such a way that they can be easily understood.

Dr Louise Campbell
Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh University
August 23, 2017
Key features
  • Boxes and exercises to foster an understanding of key concepts in language and linguistics
  • A list of useful websites at the end of each chapter
  • A glossary of key terms
  • Suggestions for further reading
  • Discussion points for use in class
  • Separate author and subject indexes


Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 4 - Input and Interaction: Tutorials for Toddlers

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