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LINGUIST List 18.1538

Mon May 21 2007

Books: Language Acquisition/Syntax: Roeper

Editor for this issue: Maria Moreno-Rollins <marialinguistlist.org>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.
        1.    Diane Denner, The Prism of Grammar: Roeper

Message 1: The Prism of Grammar: Roeper
Date: 18-May-2007
From: Diane Denner <dennermit.edu>
Subject: The Prism of Grammar: Roeper

Title: The Prism of Grammar
Subtitle: How Child Language Illuminates Humanism
Series Title: A Bradford Book
Published: 2007
Publisher: MIT Press

Book URL: http://mitpress.mit.edu/0262182521

Author: Tom Roeper
Hardback: ISBN: 0262182521 Pages: 355 Price: U.S. $ 37.95

Every sentence we hear is instantly analyzed by an inner grammar; just as a
prism refracts a beam of light, grammar divides a stream of sound, linking
diverse strings of information to different domains of mind--memory,
vision, emotions, intentions. In The Prism of Grammar, Tom Roeper brings
the abstract principles behind modern grammar to life by exploring the
astonishing intricacies of child language. Adult expressions provide
endless puzzles for the child to solve. The individual child's solutions
("Don't uncomfortable the cat" is one example) may amuse adults but they
also reveal the complexity of language and the challenges of mastering it.
The tiniest utterances, says Roeper, reflect the whole mind and engage the
child's free will and sense of dignity.

He offers numerous and novel "explorations" - many at the cutting edge of
current work - that anyone can try, even in conversation around the dinner
table. They elicit how the child confronts "recursion"- the heartbeat of
grammar- through endless possessives ("John's mother's friend's car"),
mysterious plurals, contradictory adjectives, the marvels of ellipsis, and
the deep obscurity of reference ("there it is, right here"). They are not
tests of skill; they are tools for discovery and delight, not diagnosis.
Each chapter on acquisition begins with a commonsense look at how
structures work - moving from the simple to the complex - and then turns to
the literary and human dimensions of grammar. One important human dimension
is the role of dialect in society and in the lives of children. Roeper
devotes three chapters to the structure of African-American English and the
challenge of responding to linguistic prejudice.

Written in a lively style, accessible and gently provocative, The Prism of
Grammar is for parents and teachers as well as students - for everyone who
wants to understand how children gain and use language - and anyone
interested in the social, philosophical, and ethical implications of how we
see the growing mind emerge.

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Written In: English (eng )

See this book announcement on our website:

-------------------------- Major Supporters --------------------------
Blackwell Publishing http://www.blackwellpublishing.com
Cambridge University Press http://us.cambridge.org
Cascadilla Press http://www.cascadilla.com/
Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd http://www.continuumbooks.com
Edinburgh University Press http://www.eup.ed.ac.uk/
Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://www.equinoxpub.com/
European Language Resources Association http://www.elda.org/sommaire.php
Georgetown University Press http://www.press.georgetown.edu
Hodder Arnold http://www.hoddereducation.co.uk
John Benjamins http://www.benjamins.com/
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates http://www.erlbaum.com/
Lincom GmbH http://www.lincom.at
MIT Press http://mitpress.mit.edu/
Mouton de Gruyter http://www.mouton-publishers.com
Multilingual Matters http://www.multilingual-matters.com/
Oxford University Press http://www.oup.com/us
Palgrave Macmillan http://www.palgrave.com
Rodopi http://www.rodopi.nl/
Routledge (Taylor and Francis) http://www.routledge.com/
Springer http://www.springer.com

---------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ----------------------
Anthropological Linguistics http://www.indiana.edu/~anthling/
CSLI Publications http://cslipublications.stanford.edu/
Graduate Linguistic Students' Assoc. Umass http://glsa.hypermart.net/
International Pragmatics Assoc. http://www.ipra.be
Kingston Press Ltd http://www.kingstonpress.com/
Linguistic Assoc. of Finland http://www.ling.helsinki.fi/sky/
MIT Working Papers in Linguistics http://web.mit.edu/mitwpl/
Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke http://www.lotpublications.nl/
Pacific Linguistics http://pacling.anu.edu.au/
SIL International http://www.ethnologue.com/bookstore.asp
St. Jerome Publishing Ltd. http://www.stjerome.co.uk
Utrecht institute of Linguistics http://www-uilots.let.uu.nl/


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