The popular notion of how children come to speak their first language is
that their parents teach them words, then phrases, then sentences, then
longer utterances. Although there is widespread agreement amongst linguists
that this account is wrong, there is much less agreement as to how children
really learn language. This revised edition of Ray Cattell’s bestselling
textbook aims to give readers the background necessary to form their own
views on the debate, and includes accessible summaries of key thinkers,
including Chomsky, Halliday, Karmiloff-Smith, Piaget and Skinner.
Presupposing no previous knowledge of linguistics or psychology, this clear
and accessible textbook will be the ideal introduction for undergraduate
students of language acquisition and psycholinguistics.