1720 Pages
    by Routledge

    This new addition to Routledge’s Major Works series, Critical Concepts in Linguistics, brings together the very best and most influential scholarly research in over half a century of language-acquisition research. The collection represents and reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the field, by highlighting models and methodologies from—and implications for—adjacent fields such as psycholinguistics, developmental psychology, computer science, and comparative cognition. In addition, the collection steers users to the most important, as well as controversial, issues that lie at the frontier of language acquisition research.

    With a new introduction by the editor, comprehensive index, and a chronological table of the gathered materials, this four-volume collection provides both student and scholar alike with all the key writings on language acquisition in one convenient and authoritative reference resource


    Volume I: Foundations

    1. N. Chomsky, ‘Review of B. F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior’, Language, 1959, 35, 26–58.

    2. N. Chomsky, Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (MIT Press, 1965), pp. 24–38.

    3. E. M. Gold, ‘Language Identification in the Limit’, Information and Control, 1967, 10, 5, 447–74.

    4. G. Marcus, ‘Negative Evidence in Language Acquisition’, Cognition, 1993, 46, 53–85.

    5. S. Crain, ‘Language Acquisition in the Absence of Experience’, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1991, 14, 597–650.

    6. J. Legate and C. Yang, ‘Empirical Reassessment of Stimulus Poverty Arguments’, Linguistic Review, 2002, 19, 151–62.

    7. P. Marler, ‘The Instinct to Learn’, in S. Carey and R. Gelman (eds.), The Epigenesis of Mind: Essays on Biology and Cognition (Lawrence Erlbaum, 1991), pp. 37–66.

    8. S. Goldin-Meadow and C. Mylander, ‘Gestural Communication in Deaf Children: Noneffect of Parental Input on Language Development’, Science, 1983, 22, 221, 372–4.

    9. A. Senghas, S. Kita, and A. Ozyurek, ‘Children Creating Core Properties of Language: Evidence from an Emerging Sign Language in Nicaragua’, Science, 2004, 305, 5691, 1779–82.

    10. J. Johnson and E. Newport, ‘Critical Period Effects in Second Language Learning: The Influence of Maturational State on the Acquisition of English as a Second Language’, Cognitive Psychology, 1989, 21, 60–99.

    11. G. Sankoff and H. Blondeau, ‘Language Change Across the Lifespan: /r/ in Montreal French’, Language, 2007, 83, 3, 560–88.

    12. M. Gopnik and M. Crago, ‘Familial Aggregation of a Developmental Language Disorder’, Cognition, 1991, 39, 1–50.

    13. N. Smith, I. Tsimpli, and J. Ouhala, ‘Learning the Impossible: The Acquisition of Possible and Impossible Languages by a Polyglot Savant’, Lingua, 1993, 91, 279–347.

    Volume II: Speech

    14. T. Nazzi, J. Bertoncini, and J. Mehler, ‘Language Discrimination by Newborns: Towards an Understanding of the Role of Rhythm’, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 1998, 24, 756–66.

    15. P. Eimas et al., ‘Speech Perception in Infants’, Science, 1971, 171, 303–6.

    16. P. Kuhl, ‘Perception of Auditory Equivalence Classes for Speech in Early Infancy’, Infant Behavior and Development, 1983, 6, 263–85.

    17. J. Werker and R. Tees, ‘Cross-Language Speech Perception: Evidence for Perceptual Reorganization During the First Year of Life’, Infant Behavior and Development, 1984, 7, 49–63.

    18. L. A. Pettito and P. Marentette, ‘Babbling in the Manual Mode: Evidence for the Ontogeny of Language’, Science, 1991, 251, 1493–6.

    19. P. Jusczyk and R. Aslin, ‘Infant’s Detection of the Sound Patterns of Words in Fluent Speech’, Cognitive Psychology, 1995, 46, 65–97.

    20. J. Saffran, R. Aslin, and E. Newport, ‘Statistical Learning by 8-Month-Olds’, Science, 1996, 274, 1926–8.

    21. P. Jusczyk, ‘How Infants Begin to Extract Words from Speech’, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 1999, 3, 323–8.

    22. C. Yang, ‘Universal Grammar, Statistics or Both?’, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2004, 8, 10, 451–6.

    23. N. V. Smith, ‘Universal Tendencies in the Child’s Acquisition of Phonology’, in Neil O’Connor (ed.), Language, Cognitive Deficits, and Retardation (Butterworth, 1975), pp. 47–65.

    24. M. Macken, ‘Developmental Reorganization of Phonology: A Hierarchy of Basic Units of Acquisition’, Lingua, 1979, 49, 11–49.

    25. C. Ferguson and C. Farwell, ‘Words and Sounds in Early Language Acquisition’, Language, 1975, 51, 419–39.

    26. J. Stemberger, ‘Speech Errors in Early Child Language Production’, Journal of Memory and Language, 1989, 28, 2, 164–88.

    27. W. Labov, ‘Stages in the Acquisition of Standard English’, in R. Shuy (ed.), Social Dialects and Language Learning (National Council of Teachers of English), pp. 77–103.

    28. J. Roberts, ‘Acquisition of Variable Rules: A Study of (-t, d) Deletion in Preschool Children’, Journal of Child Language, 1997, 24, 351–72.

    29. P. Kiparsky and L. Menn, ‘On the Acquisition of Phonology’, in J. MacNamara (ed.), Language Learning and Thought (Academic Press, 1977), pp. 47–78.

    30. E. Dresher and J. Kaye, ‘A Computational Learning Model for Metrical Phonology’, Cognition, 1990, 34, 137–95.

    volume III: Words

    31. S. Carey and E. Bartlett, ‘Acquiring a Single New Word’, Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, 1978, 15, 17–29.

    32. E. Markman, ‘Constraints Children Place on Word Meanings’, Cognitive Science, 1990, 14, 1, 57–77.

    33. D. Baldwin, ‘Infants’ Ability to Consult the Speaker for Clues to Word Reference’, Journal of Child Language, 1993, 20, 395–418.

    34. E. Clark, ‘What’s in a Word? On the Child’s Acquisition of Semantics in his First Language’, in T. Moore (ed.), Cognitive Development and the Development of Language (Academic Press, 1973), pp. 65–110.

    35. J. Berko, ‘The Child’s Learning of English Morphology’, Word, 1958, 14, 150–77.

    36. D. E. Rumelhart and J. L. McClelland, ‘On Learning the Past Tenses of English Verbs’, in J. L. McClelland et al., Parallel Distributed Processing: Explorations in the Microstructure of Cognition, vol. II (MIT Press, 1986), pp. 216–71.

    37. S. Pinker and M. Ullman, ‘The Past and Future of the Past Tense’, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2002, 6, 11, 456–63.

    38. A. Tyler and W. Nagy, ‘The Acquisition of English Derivational Morphology’, Journal of Memory and Language, 1989, 28, 6, 649–67.

    39. L. Gleitman, ‘The Structural Sources of Verb Meanings’, Language Acquisition, 1990, 1, 1–55.

    40. V. Valian, ‘Syntactic Categories in the Speech of Young Children’, Developmental Psychology, 1986, 22, 4, 562–79.

    41. J. Gropen et al., ‘The Learnability and Acquisition of the Dative Alternation in English’, Language, 1989, 65, 2, 203–57.

    volume IV: Structures

    42. R. Brown, A First Language (Harvard University Press, 1973), pp. 51–8, 74–100.

    43. E. Shipley, C. Smith, and L. Gleitman, ‘A Study in the Acquisition of Language: Free Responses to Commands’, Language, 1969, 45, 2, 322–42.

    44. R. Golinkoff et al., ‘The Eyes Have It: Lexical and Syntactic Comprehension in a New Paradigm’, Journal of Child Language, 1987, 14, 23–45.

    45. S. Crain and C. McKee, ‘The Acquisition of Structural Restrictions on Anaphora’, in S. Berman, J.-W. Choe, and J. McDonough (eds.), Proceedings of NELS 15 (GLSA, 1985), pp. 94–110.

    46. J. de Villiers, T. Roeper, and A. Vainikka, ‘The Acquisition of Long-Distance Rules’, in L. Frazier and J. de Villiers (eds.), Language Processing and Language Acquisition (Kluwer, 1990), pp. 257–97.

    47. M. T. Guasti, ‘Verb Syntax in Italian Child Grammar: Finite and Nonfinite Verbs’, Language Acquisition, 1993, 3, 1, 1–40.

    48. D. Poeppel and K. Wexler, ‘The Full Competence Hypothesis of Clause Structure in Early German’, Language, 1993, 69, 1, 1–33.

    49. Y. Grodzinsky and T. Reinhart, ‘The Innateness of Binding and Coreference’, Linguistic Inquiry, 1993, 24, 69–102.

    50. C. Chomsky, The Acquisition of Syntax in Children from 5 to 10 (MIT Press, 1969), pp. 41–61, 97–102.

    51. M. Rice, K. Wexler, and P. Cleave, ‘Specific Language Impairment as a Period of Extended Optional Infinitive’, Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 1995, 38, 850–63.

    52. N. Hyams, ‘The Theory of Parameters and Syntactic Development’, in T. Roeper and E. Williams (eds.), Parameter Setting (Reidel, 1987), pp. 1–22.

    53. V. Valian, ‘Syntactic Subjects in the Early Speech of American and Italian Children’, Cognition, 1991, 40, 21–81.

    54. W. Snyder, ‘On the Nature of Syntactic Variation: Evidence from Complex Predicates and Complex Word-Formation’, Language, 2001, 77, 2, 324–42.

    55. R. Berwick and P. Niyogi, ‘Learning from Triggers’, Linguistic Inquiry, 1996, 27, 4, 605–22.


    Charles Yang is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.