LINGUIST List 11.2524

Thu Nov 23 2000

Books: Syntax

Editor for this issue: Naomi Ogasawara <>

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  1. Coleman, Sarah, Syntactic Theory & the Acquisition of English Syntax by A. Radford

Message 1: Syntactic Theory & the Acquisition of English Syntax by A. Radford

Date: 22 Nov 2000 14:06:25 -0000
From: Coleman, Sarah <>
Subject: Syntactic Theory & the Acquisition of English Syntax by A. Radford

Syntactic Theory and the Acquisition of English Syntax
Andrew Radford, University of Essex
Drawing data from a corpus of more that 100,000 spontaneous utterances,
Andrew Radford demonstrates that the fundamental characteristic of
children's earliest structures is that they are essentially lexical and
thematic in nature. They show evidence of the acquisition of lexical but
not functional categories, and of thematic but not nonthematic constituents.
This hypothesis provides a unified account of a wide range of phenomena in
early child English. 
This detailed study of children's initial grammars suggests a model of
acquisition which is essentially maturational. Different modules of the
child's grammar come into operation at different stages of development,
triggered by relevant aspects of the child's experience. In this, Radford's
account sheds significant light on some of the fundamental questions for the
theory of language acquisition.
Syntactic Theory and the Acquisition of English Syntax has been out of
print, but is now again available through Blackwell Publishers exciting new
print-on-demand service. Go to or to order.
1991/311 pp./0631163581/PB/List: $31.95
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Monday, October 09, 2000