Language and the Learning Curve: A new theory of syntactic development (Hardback)
  • Language and the Learning Curve: A new theory of syntactic development (Hardback)
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Language and the Learning Curve: A new theory of syntactic development (Hardback)

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£135.00
Hardback 220 Pages / Published: 02/11/2006
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Language development remains one of the most hotly debated topics in the cognitive sciences. In recent years we have seen contributions to the debate from researchers in psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence, and philosophy, though there have been surprisingly few interdisciplinary attempts at unifying the various theories. In Language and the Learning Curve, a leading researcher in the field offers a radical new view of language development. Drawing on formal linguistic theory (the Minimalist Program, Dependency Grammars), cognitive psychology (skill learning) computational linguistics (Zipf curves), and Complexity Theory (networks), it takes the view that syntactic development is a simple process and that syntax can be learned just like any other cognitive or motor skill. In a thought provoking and accessible style, it develops a learning theory of the acquisition of syntax that builds on the contribution of the different source theories in a detailed and explicit manner. Each chapter starts by laying the relevant theoretical background, before examining empirical data on child language acquisition. The result is a bold new theory of the acquisition of syntax, unusual in its combination of Chomskian linguistics and learning theory. Language and the Learning Curve is an important new work that challenges many of our usual assumptions about syntactic development.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199299812
Number of pages: 220
Weight: 469 g
Dimensions: 240 x 160 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This is an important book for current language development researchers and graduate students, as well as those more closely involved in the controversies of theoretical linguistics. While clearly written, the book deals with highly complex issues and demands careful study. The empirical solidity of this work in conjunction with its strong theoretical claims poses a challenge to all. * Lorraine McCune, Journal of Child Language *
Anat Ninio has forged a unique role for herself in the field of language acquisition as a creative and innovative researcher ... Ninio continuously thinks across theoretical and disciplinary divides in highly constructive ways. Her book presents challenges to received wisdoms in all parts of the field and really makes one think! * Elena Lieven, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany, and the University of Manchester, UK. *
This book is very interesting for researchers of language acquisition and for specialists who work on how to make computers understand language and how to link language with broader knowledge networks. * Liu Haitao, Applied and Computational Linguistics, Communication University of China, Beijing *
Language and the Learning curve is a breakthrough achievement, elegantly and logically presented, solidly based on evidence from child language research and expertise in current theoretical linguistics. * Katherine Nelson, Department of Psychology, Graduate Center, City University of New York *
I used the book in one of my MSc courses where it was very popular. The students... were excited about the approach and welcomed it as interesting and refreshingly healthy in wedding well the theory and data and yielding specific predictions. This is one of the reasons I intend to keep using the book in the future! * Barbora Skarabela, Lecturer, Linguistics and English Language, University of Edinburgh *

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