Children's Discourse

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November 2002



This original comparative study explores two central questions in the study of first language acquisition: What is the relative impact of structural and functional determinants? What is universal versus language-specific during development? Maya Hickmann addresses these questions in three domains of child language: reference to entities, the representation of space, and uses of temporal-aspectual markings. She provides a thorough review of different theoretical approaches to language acquisition and a wide range of developmental research, as well as examining all three domains in English, French, German, and Chinese narratives. Hickmann's findings concern the rhythm of acquisition, the interplay among different factors (syntactic, semantic, pragmatic) determining children's uses, and universal versus variable aspects of acquisition. Her conclusions stress the importance of relating sentence and discourse determinants of acquisition in a crosslinguistic perspective. Children's Discourse will be welcomed by those working in psychology and language-related disciplines interested in first language acquisition.


1. Introduction; Part I. Available Theories and Data: 2. Theoretical issues; 3. Crosslinguistic invariants and variations; 4. Coherence and cohesion in discourse development; 5. Children's marking of information status: referring expressions and clause structure; 6. The acquisition of spatial and temporal-aspectual devices; Part II. A Crosslinguistic Study of Children's Narratives: 7. Methodological issues; 8. Animate entities; 9. Space; 10. Time; 11. Conclusions; Appendix.


Maya Hickmann is Research Director at Laboratoire Cognition et Developpement, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and University of Paris V.


Review of the hardback: '... this book remains one of the most impressive in the field of language acquisition. The richness of the data from four different languages is truly striking, and linguists in almost any subfield of linguistics are guaranteed to learn much of value from this book.' Linguistics
EAN: 9780521584418
ISBN: 0521584418
Untertitel: Person, Space and Time across Languages. 'Cambridge Studies in Linguistics'. 14 tables. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: Cambridge University Press
Erscheinungsdatum: November 2002
Seitenanzahl: 412 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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