Investigations in Universal Grammar: A Guide to Experiments on the Acquisition of Syntax and Semantics

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This introductory guide to language acquisition research is presented within the framework of Universal Grammar, a theory of the human faculty for language. The authors focus on two experimental techniques for assessing children's linguistic competence: the Elicited Production task, a production task, and the Truth Value Judgment task, a comprehension task. Their methodologies are designed to overcome the numerous obstacles to empirical investigation of children's language competence. They produce research results that are more reproducible and less likely to be dismissed as an artifact of improper experimental procedure.

In the first section of the book, the authors examine the fundamental assumptions that guide research in this area; they present both a theory of linguistic competence and a model of language processing. In the following two sections, they discuss in detail their two experimental techniques.

 

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Contents

Models of Language Development 29
5
Chapter
14
Chapter
30
The ActOut Task
67
Chapter 10
79
Context and Competing Factors
87
Chapter 12
97
Extralinguistic Knowledge
103
Why Children Make Good Subjects
199
Chapter 25
209
Chapter 26
215
Chapter 27
221
Chapter 28
239
Strongest Crossover
259
Chapter 29
265
Chapter 33
274

Performance Errors
121
Chapter 16
129
PART II
137
Chapter 17
143
Eliciting Relative Clauses
151
Chapter 19
163
Chapter 21
177
Chapter 35
293
Chapter 37
306
Strong Crossover
308
Conclusion
319
247
339
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