This book presents a current, interdisciplinary perspective on language requisites from both a biological/comparative perspective and from a developmental/learning perspective. Perspectives regarding language and language acquisition are advanced by scientists of various backgrounds -- speech, hearing, developmental psychology, comparative psychology, and language intervention. This unique volume searches for a rational interface between findings and perspectives generated by language studies with humans and with chimpanzees. Intended to render a reconsideration as to the essence of language and the requisites to its acquisition, it also provides readers with perspectives defined by various revisionists who hold that language might be other than the consequence of a mutation unique to humans and might, fundamentally, not be limited to speech.
"…provocative mix that brings together many useful articles….quite worthwhile readings."
"…contains something about (almost) everything you ever wanted to know about language acquisition."
—The Quarterly Review of Biology
"The twenty chapters in this book represent a wonderful set of topics related to complex questions of the phylogeny and ontogeny of language….most are focused, in-depth reviews of specific areas of research from recent years, and they give the reader a fine sense of being brought up to date and set straight."
"…an impressive group of researchers have put their cognitive potential to the task of improving our understanding of the ontogeny and evolution of human language….if you are interested in seeing how linguists incorporate evolutionary theory into their own conceptual framework, and how comparative psychologists attempt to tackle the proclaimed uniqueness of human language, then this is a book well worth reading."
—American Journal of Primatology
Contents: Part I:Critical Theoretical Issues. M. Studdert-Kennedy, Language Development from an Evolutionary Perspective. E. Bates, D. Thal, V. Marchman, Symbols and Syntax: A Darwinian Approach to Language Development. M.P. Maratsos, How the Acquisition of Nouns May Be Different from That of Verbs. K. Nelson, Concepts and Meaning in Language Development. L. Bloom, Representation and Expression. Part II:Precursors of Language in Primates. D.M. Rumbaugh, W.D. Hopkins, D.A. Washburn, E.S. Savage-Rumbaugh, Comparative Perspectives of Brain, Cognition, and Language. P.F. MacNeilage, The "Postural Origins" Theory of Primate Neurobiological Asymmetries. D.L. Molfese, P.A. Morse, Developmental Changes in Nonhuman Primate Patterns of Brain Lateralization for the Perception of Speech Cues: Neuroelectrical Correlates. E.S. Savage-Rumbaugh, Language Learning in the Bonobo: How and Why They Learn. P.M. Greenfield, E.S. Savage-Rumbaugh, Imitation, Grammatical Development, and the Invention of Protogrammar by an Ape. Part III:Language Acquisition in Children. A.C. Catania, The Phylogeny and Ontogeny of Language Function. A. Lock, The Role of Social Interaction in Early Language Development. K. Hirsh-Pasek, R.M. Golinkoff, Language Comprehension: A New Look at Some Old Themes. S. Crain, R. Thornton, Recharting the Course of Language Acquisition: Studies in Elicited Production. E. Thelen, Motor Aspects of Emergent Speech: A Dynamic Approach. U. Bellugi, A. Bihrle, D. Corina, Linguistic and Spatial Development: Dissociations Between Cognitive Domains. Part IV:Acquisition by Instruction in the Language Delayed. K.E. Nelson, On Differentiated Language-Learning Models and Differentiated Interventions. M.A. Romski, R.A. Sevcik, Patterns of Language Learning by Instruction: Evidence from Nonspeaking Persons with Mental Retardation. M.L. Rice, Children with Specific Language Impairment: Toward a Model of Teachability. J.E. McLean, L. Snyder-McLean, Communicative Intent and Its Realizations Among Persons with Severe Intellectual Deficits.