An essential handbook for professionals and advanced students in the field. Volume 1 contains comprehensive studies on the acquisition of 15 different languages (from ASL to Samoan) -- written by top researchers on each topic. Volume 2 concentrates on theoretical issues, emphasizing current linguistic and psycholinguistic research. Unique in its approach toward individual languages and in its comparative perspective, this book is a hallmark of a rapidly growing area of interdisciplinary, international research.
Reviews for Volumes 1 and 2 "…[Slobin] has really cornered the market, for these volumes will be a standard reference for years to come. The handbook elevates Slobin's method of crosslinguistic correlation to a new dimension…by constructing an extremely informative and readable reference manual…Dan Slobin has a great love for human language in all of its incarnations…[his book] is a gold mine of information, and even skimming through the pages is the cause of many worthwhile linguistic daydreams."
"…The books promise to become one of the most quoted descriptive sources of the field during the coming decade …they represent the best one can obtain from diary-like and more sophisticated observational studies in several languages…the empirical chapters provide excellent reading…the two volumes are indeed on the way to becoming classics."
—Studies in Second Language Acquisition
"…the reader is richly rewarded with an in-depth look at current accounts of child language development….the special significance of these volumes lies in situating the discussion at a much more sophisticated level than that suggested by such oppositions as nature and nurture, or nativist and empiricist. To anyone concerned about language teaching and language learning this tangible result of Slobin's original vision cannot help but be eye-opening."
—Modern Language Journal
Volume 1: The Data. Contents: D.I. Slobin, Introduction: Why Study Acquisition Crosslinguistically? Part I:Spoken Languages. J.G. de Villiers, P.A. de Villiers, The Acquisition of English. A.E. Mills, The Acquisition of German. E.V. Clark, The Acquisition of Romance, with Special Reference to French. E. Ochs, Variation and Error: A Sociolinguistic Approach to Language Acquisition in Samoa. A.A. Aksu-Koc, D.I. Slobin, The Acquistion of Turkish. Part II:Signed Languages. E.L. Newport, R.P. Meier, The Acquisition of American Sign Language. Volume 2: Theoretical Issues. Contents: J.R. Johnston, Cognitive Prerequisites: The Evidence from Children Learning English. T. Givon, Function, Structure, and Language Acquisition. A.M. Peters, Language Segmentation: Operating Principles for the Perception and Analysis of Language. B. MacWhinney, Hungarian Language Acquisition as an Exemplification of a General Model of Grammatical Development. D.I. Slobin, Crosslinguistic Evidence for the Language-Making Capacity. M. Bowerman, What Shapes Children's Grammars?