This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."
This book provides new insights into the acquisition of functional categories in child language. Operating within the Minimalist Framework (Chomsky 1995) it examines in particular the availability of Determiner Phrases in the grammar of young children acquiring Spanish as a first language.
The analysis reveals an interaction in child grammar around the production of bare nominals, proto-determiners and full determiner phrases. Socarrás performs both qualitative and quantitative analyses to point to a link between the development stages children go through, and the occurrence of these elements in their speech.
The work goes on to address the language acquisition debate between the continuity and discontinuity hypotheses, aligning the findings with a conclusion on how best to organise the theory.