LINGUIST List 10.8

Tue Jan 5 1999

Books: Child Lang Acquisition

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  1.>, An Introduction to Child Language Development, S. H. Foster-Cohen

Message 1: An Introduction to Child Language Development, S. H. Foster-Cohen

Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 11:22:23 GMT
From:> <>
Subject: An Introduction to Child Language Development, S. H. Foster-Cohen

 Head of the Department of English at the University of London, The 
 British Institute in Paris, France
 Paper 0-582-08729-5
 256 pages 1999
 Learning about language Series
This volume introduces the field of child language development
studies, and presents hypotheses in an accessible, largely
non-technical language, aiming to demonstrate the relationship between
these hypotheses and interpretations of data. It makes the assumption
that having a theory of language development is as important as having
reliable data about what children say and understand, and it advocates
a combination of both `rationalist' and more 'empiricist'
traditions. In fact, the author overtly argues that different
traditions provide different pieces of the picture, and that taking
any single approach is unlikely to lead to productive understanding.
Susan Foster-Cohen explores a range of issues, including the nature of 
prelinguistic communication and its possible relationship to linguistic 
development; early stages of language development and how they can be 
viewed in the light of later developments; the nature and role of 
children's experience with the language(s) around them; variations in 
language development due to both pathological and non-pathological 
differences between children, and (in the latter case) between the 
languages they learn; later oral language development; and literacy. The 
approach is distinctly psycholinguistic and linguistic rather than 
sociolinguistic, although there is significant treatment of issues which 
intersect with more sociolinguistic concerns (e.g. literacy, language play, 
and bilingualism). There are exercises and discussion questions throughout, 
designed to reinforce the ideas being presented, as well as to offer the 
student the opportunity to think beyond the text to ideas at the cutting 
edge of research.
The accessible presentation of key issues will appeal to the intended 
undergraduate readership, and will be of interest to those taking courses 
in language development, linguistics, developmental psychology, educational 
linguistics, and speech pathology. The book will also serve as a useful 
introduction to students wishing to pursue post-graduate courses which deal 
with child language development.
 Further information on the books published in this series, and
 the table of contents for this title can be viewed at the Longman
 Linguistics on-line catalogue at:
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