Originally published in 1973, this book is an account of how the child
learns the sound system of his native language, or how he learns to speak.
A theory of the acquisition of phonology is derived from a detailed and
rigorous analysis of the developing speech of a young child observed over a
period of two years. The details of this analysis are elaborated in depth
in chapters two and three and the major results of the study are given in
chapter four. The final chapter is devoted to the implications of language
acquisition for linguistic theory in general and generative phonology in
particular. In addition to the obvious relevance of this work to general
linguists and psychologists working on language acquisition, it was of
considerable importance to speech therapists and all those involved
medically with the observation and treatment of infant speech, in that it
provided a characterisation of normal development which could act as a
yardstick by which to measure abnormal or pathological conditions.