The Inheritance and Innateness of Grammars / Edition 1

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Is language somehow innate in the structure of the human brain, or is it completely learned? This debate is still at the heart of linguistics, especially as it intersects with psychology and cognitive science. In collecting papers which discuss the evidence and arguments regarding this difficult question, The Inheritance and Innateness of Grammars considers cases ranging from infants who are just beginning to learn the properties of a native language to language-impaired adults who will never learn one. These studies show that, while precursors of language exist in other creatures, the abilities necessary for constructing full-fledged grammars are part of the biological endowment of human beings. The essays that comprise this volume test the range and specificity of that endowment, while also contributing to our understanding of the intricate and complex relationship between language and biology.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is an important and though-provoking volume of papers for linguists who are looking for experimental data in relation to the claim of innateness." --Notes on Linguistics

"This is a volume ideal for linguists not specializing in Language Acquisition to update their knowledge. It contains overviews and new research by some of the leading researchers in L1 acquisition....This book brings together some of the recent findings about the biological innateness of our (human) linguistic endowment. It will supplement an introductory linguistics textbook well, especially in the area of L1 Acquisition. It will also be interesting for non-linguists."--WORD, Vol.51, Number 2, August 2002

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 3
2 Evolution, Nativism and Learning in the Development of Language and Speech 7
3 In the Beginning: On the Genetic and Environmental Factors that Make Early Language Acquisition Possible 45
4 Exploring Innateness through Cultural and Linguistic Variation 70
5 Epidemiology of Specific Language Impairment 91
6 The Biological Basis of Language: Familial Language Impairment 111
7 The Grammatical Agreement Deficit in Specific Language Impairment: Evidence from Therapy Experiments 141
8 Specific Language Impairment, Cognition and the Biological Basis of Language 161
9 Evolutionary Biology and the Evolution of Language 181
10 A Neurobiological Approach to the Noninvariance Problem in Stop Consonant Categorization 209
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