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

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.

"One of the first surveys to start research into the connectionsbetween linguistic data in children and the rules of UniversalGrammar... Crain and Thornton have written an ambitious book. Itis an excellent introduction to investigations into childlanguage." Tuomo Jamsa, Journal of Consciousness Studies

The Modularity Matching Model
Constraints and Universal Grammar
The Poverty of the Stimulus
Models of Language Development
Continuity versus Input Matching
The Competing Factors Model
Competing Tasks: Reaction Time Studies
Competing Tasks: The Act-Out Task
Competing Tasks: Imitation
Judgment Tasks and Competing Factors
Context and Competing Factors
Language Processing
Extralinguistic Knowledge
When Principles and Preferences Collide
Performance Errors
Methodological Preliminaries
The Elicited Production Task
Elicited Production
Eliciting Relative Clauses
Asking Questions: The Ask/Tell Problem
Wanna Contraction
Long-Distance Questions and the Medial-Wh
Why Children Make Good Subjects
Summary of Designs
The Truth Value Judgment Task
Truth Value Judgments
Backward Anaphora
Fundamentals of Design: Principle C
What's Wrong with This Picture?
Strong Crossover
Strongest Crossover
Principle B
Following Up on Principle B
Sets and Circumstances
Discourse Binding
Universal Quantification
Donkey Sentences
A Potential Drawback of the Task
Resolving the Dilemma: Control Sentences
Resolving the Dilemma: Varying the Context
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262531801
ISBN-10: 0262531801
Series: Investigations in Universal Grammar
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 360
Published: 1st September 2000
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 17.8  x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.59