Roberta M. Golinkoff

  • The Origins of Grammar

    The Origins of Grammar

    Evidence from Early Language Comprehension

    Roberta M. Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek

    How do children achieve adult grammatical competence? How do they induce syntactical rules from the bewildering linguistic input that surrounds them? The major debates in language acquisition theory today focus not on whether there are some sensitivities to syntactic information but rather which sensitivities are available to children and how they might be translated into the organizing principles that get syntactic learning off the ground.

    The Origins of Grammar presents a synthesis of work done by the authors, who have pioneered one of the most important methodological advances in language learning in the past decade: the intermodal preferential looking paradigm, which can be used to assess lexical and syntactic knowledge in children as young as 13 months. In addition to drawing together their groundbreaking empirical work, the authors use these results to describe a theory of language learning that emphasizes the role of multiple cues and forces in development. They show how infants shift their reliance on different aspects of the linguistic input, moving from a bias to attend to prosodic information to a reliance on semantic information, and finally to a reliance on the syntax itself.

    Viewing language acquisition as the product of a biased learner who takes advantage of the information available from a variety of sources in his or her environment, The Origins of Grammar provides a new way of thinking about the process of language comprehension. The analysis borrows insights from theories about the development of mental models, models of early cognitive development and systems theory, and is presented in a way that will be accessible to cognitive and developmental psychologists.

    • Hardcover $50.00
    • Paperback $6.75

Contributor

  • Methods for Assessing Children's Syntax

    Methods for Assessing Children's Syntax

    Dana McDaniel, Cecile McKee, and Helen Smith Cairns

    This book is designed in part as a handbook to assist students and researchers in the choice and use of methods for investigating children's grammar.

    The study of child language and, in particular, child syntax is a growing area of linguistic research, yet methodological issues often take a back seat to the findings and conclusions of specific studies in the field. This book is designed in part as a handbook to assist students and researchers in the choice and use of methods for investigating children's grammar. For example, a method (or combination of methods) can be chosen based on what is measured and who the target subject is. In addition to the selection of methods, there are also pointers for designing and conducting experimental studies and for evaluating research.

    Methods for Assessing Children's Syntax combines the best features of approaches developed in experimental psychology and linguistics that ground the study of language within the study of human cognition. The first three parts focus on specific methods, divided according to the type of data collected: production, comprehension, and judgment. Chapters in the fourth part take up general methodological considerations that arise regardless of which method is used. All of the methods described can be modified to meet the requirements of a specific study.

    ContributorsHelen Smith Cairns, Katherine Demuth, Jill de Villiers, Suzanne Flynn, Claire Foley, LouAnn Gerken, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Helen Goodluck, Peter Gordon, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Jennifer Ryan Hsu, Louis Michael Hsu, Celia Jakubowicz, Laurence B. Leonard, Barbara Lust, Dana McDaniel, Cecile McKee, Thomas Roeper, Michele E. Shady, Karin Stromswold, Rosalind Thornton

    Language, Speech, and Communication series

    • Hardcover $55.00
    • Paperback $35.00