The acquisition of language is a staggering feat, yet one that all
typically developing children manage by the time they reach school age.
Child Language: Acquisition and Development presents the latest thinking
and research on how children acquire or develop their first language,
written and developed in a manner that will be stimulating and interesting
for a range of undergraduate students.
The reader is taken from a standing start to the point where they can
engage with key debates and current research in the field of child
language. No background knowledge of linguistic theory is assumed and all
specialist terms are introduced in clear, non-technical language. A theme
running through the book is the nature-nurture debate, rekindled in the
modern era by Noam Chomsky, with his belief that the form language takes in
the child is largely determined by genetic factors. This book is rare in
its balanced presentation of evidence from both sides of the nature-nurture
divide; in effect, it uniquely presents a case for language acquisition and
The reader is encouraged to adopt a critical stance throughout and weigh
the evidence for themselves. Key features for the student include: boxes
and exercises to foster an understanding of key concepts in language and
linguistics; a glossary of key terms; suggestions for further reading; a
list of useful websites at the end of each chapter; discussion points for
use in class; and separate author and subject indexes.
Child Language: Acquisition and Development is an indispensable textbook
for undergraduate students in Psychology, Linguistics, Education and