Child Language: A Resource Book for Students, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Child Language

A Resource Book for Students, 1st Edition

By Jean Stilwell Peccei


192 pages

Companion Website
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Paperback: 9780415281034
pub: 2005-12-13
Hardback: 9780415281027
pub: 2005-12-13

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Child Language:

  • provides a comprehensive overview of language acquisition in children
  • introduces students to key theories and concerns such as innateness, the role of input and the relation of language to other cognitive functions
  • teaches students the skills needed to analyze children’s language
  • includes sections on the bilingual child and atypical language development
  • provides classic readings by key names in the field, such as Brian MacWhinney, Richard Cromer, Jean Aitchison, and Eve Clark.

The accompanying website to this book can be found at


'Engaging as it is, Child Language opens the door of the fascinating area of language acquisition to students who might think that child language is mere imitation and as such, not worth investigating. Most importantly, the reader is not a passive recipient of knowledge in this book but is invited to actively observe the language acquisition process and experience real data.' - Linguist List

Table of Contents

A. Introduction: Key Concepts in Language Acquisition A.1. Approaches to Language Acquisition A.2. Phonological Development A.3. Lexical Development A.4. Morphological Development A.5. Syntactic Development A.6. Discourse Development A.7. Literacy Development A.8. The Bilingual Child B. Development: Analyzing Children’s Language B.1. A Closer Look at Child Directed Speech B.2. Learning and Producing the Sounds of Words B.3. Learning the Meaning of Words B.4. Learning How to Build Words B.5. Learning How to Build Sentences B.6. Acquiring Communicative Competence B.7. A Closer Look at Spelling B.8. Using Two Dialects C. Exploration: Data for Investigation C.1. Research Methods C.2. Children’s Pronunciation Patterns C.3. Children’s Lexicons C.4. Children as Word-makers C.5. Building a Grammar C.6. Children’s Conversations C.7. Children’s Writing C.8. Using More Than one Language D. Extension: Readings in Language Acquisition D.1. Current Perspectives on Language Acquisition D.2. Children’s Mental Representations of Sounds D.3. Naming Things for Children D.4. A Child’s Invention of New Words D.5. Accounting for Growth and Change in Children’s Grammar D.6. Language and Socialization D.7. A Cross-Linguistic Approach to Dyslexia D.8. Bilingual Children’s Use of Code-Switching. References. Glossarial Index

About the Author

Jean Stilwell Peccei is a Visiting Lecturer in the English Language & Linguistics programme at Roehampton University. She is the author of Child Language 2nd Edition (Routledge Language Workbooks series, 1999) and Pragmatics (Routledge Language Workbooks series, 1999) and co-author of Language, Society and Power 2nd Edition (Routledge 2004).

About the Series

Routledge English Language Introductions

Routledge English Language Introductions cover core areas of English language study and are one-stop resources for students.
Assuming no prior knowledge, books in the series offer an accessible overview of the subject, with activities, study questions, sample analyses, commentaries and key readings - all in the same volume.
The innovative and flexible 'two-way' structure is built around four sections - introduction, development, exploration and extension - which offer self-contained stages for study. Each topic can also be read across these sections, enabling the reader to build gradually on the knowledge gained.
Each book in the series has a companion website with extra resources for teachers, lecturers and students.
Visit the series website at: for more information and to explore.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Child
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Children's Studies