LINGUIST List 13.1592

Tue Jun 4 2002

Books: Psycholinguistics, Paul Bloom

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  1. dgw, How Children Learn the Meanings of Words by Paul Bloom

Message 1: How Children Learn the Meanings of Words by Paul Bloom

Date: Tue, 04 Jun 2002 11:19:21 +0000
From: dgw <>
Subject: How Children Learn the Meanings of Words by Paul Bloom

Title: How Children Learn the Meanings of Words 

Publication Year: 2002
Publisher: MIT Press
Author: Paul Bloom 

Paperback: ISBN: 0262523299, Pages: 314, Price: $19.95
Comment: Hardcover published 2000

How do children learn that the word "dog" refers not to all
four-legged animals, and not just to Ralph, but to all members of a
particular species? How do they learn the meanings of verbs like
"think",adjectives like "good" and words for
abstract entities such as "mortgage" and "story"?
The acquisition of word meaning is one of the fundamental concerns of
the study of mind. According to Paul Bloom, children learn words
through sophisticated cognitive abilities that exist for other
purposes. These include the ability to infer others
intentions, the ability to acquire concepts, an appreciation of
syntactic structure, and certain general learning and memory
abilities. Although other researchers have associated word learning
with some of these capacities, Bloom is the first to show how a
complete explanation requires all of them. The acquisition of even
simple nouns requires rich conceptual, social, and linguistic
capacities interacting in complex ways. This book requires no
background in psychology or linguistics and is written in a clear,
engaging style. Topics include the effects of language on spatial
reasoning, the origin of essentialist beliefs, and the young
child's understanding of representational art. The book should
appeal to general readers interested in language and cognition as well
as to researchers in the field.

Paul Bloom is Professor of Psychology at Yale University.

Winner of the 2000 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division Annual
Awards Competition in the category of Psychology, presented by the
Association of American Publishers, Inc.

Lingfield(s): Psycholinguistics
Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

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Thursday, January 17, 2002