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Child Language

Child Language
Acquisition and Development

Second Edition

© 2017 | 408 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This is the best book on the market for taking  students from ‘how children acquire their first language’ to the point where they can engage with key debates and current research in the field of child language. No background knowledge of linguistic theory is assumed and all specialist terms are introduced in clear, non-technical language.

It is rare in its balanced presentation of evidence from both sides of the nature–nurture divide and its ability to make this complicated topic engaging and understandable to everyone.

This edition includes

  • Exercises to foster an understanding of key concepts in language and linguistics
  • glossary of key terms so students can always check back on the more difficult terms
  • Suggestions for further reading including fascinating TED Talks that bring the subject to life
  • Access to Multiple Choice Quizzes and other online resources so students can check they've understood what they have just read
Chapter 1: Landmarks in the Landscape of Child Language
Chapter 2: Can Animals Acquire Human Language? Shakespeare's Typewriter
Chapter 3: The Critical Period Hypothesis: Now or Never?
Chapter 4: Input and Interaction: Tutorials for Toddlers
Chapter 5: Language in the First Year: Breaking the Sound Barrier
Chapter 6: The Developing Lexicon: What's in a Name?
Chapter 7: The Acquisition of Morphology: Linguistic Lego
Chapter 8: Linguistic Nativism: To the Grammar Born
Chapter 9: The Usage-Based Approach: Making It up as You Go along
Chapter 10: You Say Nature, I Say Nurture: Better Call the Calling off off

Writing in a conversational, playful voice Matthew Saxton offers a particularly engaging and accessible introduction to a wealth of knowledge about language. He models how language allows us both to share personal interests and enthusiasms and to build more public understanding by publishing and arguing about research findings.

Rod Parker-Rees, Associate Professor in Early Childhood Studies
Plymouth University

Engaging and well-organized, this textbook highlights nature-nurture debate, mismatches between comprehension and production, individual variation, and methodological issues. The second edition adds web-based support for teachers and students, including test questions and instructional slides. Updated references, some re-ordered material, and a new state-of-the-art ending further enhance this excellent textbook.

Professor Cecile McKee
Linguistics Department, University of Arizona

This book is an extremely clear and accessible introduction to a complex and fascinating subject, essential reading not only for its target audience of psychology students but also for Early Years teachers and students. Welcome touches of humor enliven balanced and detailed explanations of theory, debates, and research evidence.

Kate Allott, Senior Lecturer
School of Education, York St John University

This book offers a comprehensive overview of the subject of child language acquisition, and provides a balanced, unbiased discussion of the various issues and debates surrounding the topic. Saxton makes complex, and at times controversial, topics accessible and relevant, and the text will be invaluable for students of language, linguistics and psychology alike.

Dr Kate Scott, Senior Lecturer
Kingston University London

Mathew Saxton’s Child Language is an excellent book on a difficult to understand (and explain) field. The book covers the what we know about child language development in a readily accessible, readable and at times amusing format, which is perfect for UGs who have no previous knowledge in the field. This book is the best general book on child language development that I’ve seen and I welcome the updated second edition.

Dr. Michelle St Clair
Psychology Department, University of Bath

Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch. 2 - Can Animals Acquire Human Language?

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ISBN: 9781446295625

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