Progressing gradually from babbling to meaningful sentences is something most babies do naturally. But why do they? John L. Locke’s answer constitutes a fascinating journey along the path of language development, a tour that takes in all the stops—neurological and perceptual, social and linguistic—that mark the way to intelligible speech. A major synthesis of the latest research on early language acquisition, this volume revises the way we understand ourselves and our approach to speech.
In a fascinating, scholarly and clearly written account, [Locke] takes us to the brink of language proper by examining its perceptual, social, neural and cognitive precursors from before birth to the appearance of the first recognizable words.
Locke reminds us that language learning occurs in the very real context of physical and social maturation and that children are neither little linguists nor experimental subjects in the laboratory. Researchers approaching the problem of language acquisition from different perspectives should welcome his contribution.
John Locke attempts to bring together a wide range of findings from infancy research in order to explore links between early development and the emergence of language…[and] provides authoritative and extremely clear summaries of relevant research… Locke has gone a good way towards charting the territory of a very important area and it is an essential read for those who are concerned with development in infancy.
- 536 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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