Handbook of Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition
BeschreibungModern linguistic theory has been based on the promise of explaining how language acquisition can occur so rapidly with such subtlety, and with both surprising uniformity and diversity across languages. This handbook provides a summary and assessment of how far that promise has been fulfilled, exploring core concepts in acquisition theory, including notions of the initial state, parameters, triggering theory, the role of competition and frequency, and many others, across a variety of syntactic topics that have formed the central domains of investigation and debate. These topics are treated from the unique perspective of central actors in each domain who have helped shape the research agenda. The authors have presented a summary of the data, the theories under discussion, and their own best assessments of where each domain stands. Providing as well the agenda for future work in the field showing both particular needs and general directions that should be pursued in the coming decades.
Missing Subjects in Early Child Language, Nina Hyams .
Grammatical Computation in the Optional Infinitive Stage, Ken Wexler .
Computational Models of Language Acquisition, Charles Yang .
The Acquisition of the Passive, Kamil Ud Deen .
The Acquistion Path of Wh-Questions, Tom Roeper and Jill de Villiers .
Binding and Coreference: Views from Child Language, Cornelia Hamann .
Universal Grammar and the Acquisition of Japanese Syntax, Koji Sugisaki and Yukio Otsu .
Studying Language Acquistion Through the Prism of Isomorphism, Julien Musolino .
Acquiring Knowledge of Universal Quantification, William Philip .
Name Index .
PortraitJill de Villiers received her Bachelors degree in Psychology at Reading University in the UK, and her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at Harvard in 1974, where her mentor, Roger Brown, was a pioneer in the field of language development. After 5 years as an Assistant Professor at Harvard, she is now the Sophia and Austin Smith Professor in Psychology and Professor of Philosophy at Smith College where she has taught for over thirty years. Dr. de Villiers teaches courses in Linguistics, Language Acquisition and Cognitive Science, and has many undergraduates engaged in research with her. She has served on the editorial and review board of several journals and has frequently reviewed grants for NIH and NSF as well as being a reviewer for grants in Israel, Canada and Hong Kong.
Dr de Villiers has written widely on empirical and theoretical research on the acquisition of grammar for over thirty-five years, ranging from attention to grammatical morphemes to recursive embeddings in syntax. She has also recently collaborated with researchers studying acquisition in much-less studied languages such as Xhosa, Tibetan and Romani.
For the last fifteen years Dr. de Villiers has been immersed in understanding the role of language in Theory of Mind development, and hence the issue of the interface between language and thinking. Her collaborative work on Tibetan evidentials is an outgrowth of that work, as is a project with the software company Laureate Learning Systems on language intervention to teach "language of the mind" to children who have language difficulties such as SLI, autism or other handicapping conditions. Currently she is also conducting research as part of a preschool curriculum intervention project. Together with Peter de Villiers, she is involved in designing and testing an assessment of pragmatic development, with a particular focus on children with autism. Dr de Villiers has received research funding from the March of Dimes, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Institute for Educational Studies.
Thomas Roeper received his bachelor's degree in English at Reed College before receiving a PhD in Linguistics and Education at Harvard University in 1973. After a postdoc position with David McNeill at Chicago, he took a position at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where has taught Linguistics for 35 years. Over this period he has served as a visitor at numerous other Universities and Research Institutes, including MIT, Harvard University, Max Planck in Nijmegen, NIAS in Holland, ZAS in Berlin, and Potsdam, as well as lecturing in 20 countries and serving on Dissertation committees in 18.
Dr Roeper has worked on linguistic theory, language acquisition, and applications to
disorders throughout his career. He has published work in every domain covered in the current volume. His research has been funded by both the National Institutes of Health and by the National Science Foundation.
Tom Roeper served as founder and co-editor of the journal Language Acquisition,
and the book series Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics. He reviews extensively for NIH, NSF, the Canada Council and organizations in Holland, Germany, Norway,
And South Africa.
With their colleague Harry Seymour, Tom Roeper and Jill de Villiers are co-authors of a dialect-neutral language assessment for children (the DELV). They have each served as consultants to a large European enterprise (COST) and together have worked with Laureate Learning systems to enhance their grammar intervention software. Tom Roeper and Jill de Villiers have given multiple seminars and workshops through the American Speech and Hearing Association to speech language pathologists and educators on the topic of grammar acquisition, designed to improve and update the training in grammar and language acquisition of the practitioners in these fields.
From the reviews:
'Reasons for wanting to read a handbook include looking for shortcuts to literature reviews, wanting to see what has changed in a field that is not currently a focus of one's personal research, and wanting to find snapshots of important issues for presentation to students. This volume succeeds in providing material that supports all of these goals.' (Susan Foster-Cohen, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Vol. 34 (4), December, 2012)
'This handbook is the newest in line on First Language Acquisition (FLA), with nine chapters ' on major topics in FLA. ' the chapters are authoritative, well written, easy to follow and fit well with each other. ' the book is most useful for graduate students and researchers ' . Overall, this handbook is an excellent resource for those who wish to understand the core issues surrounding language acquisition from the point of view of the generative paradigm.' (Darcy Sperlich, The Linguist List, February, 2012)