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From the Publisher"This careful and sophisticated study provides powerful empirical evidence, from many sources, for logical nativism, the thesis that human languages make use of the logical concepts and laws of classical logic, and that these are contingent facts that are not learned and not required for a rational creature. It extends the conclusion to other aspects of natural language, its acquisition and use. The conclusions are compelling, and of great import for linguistics, philosophical logic, and psychology of language and mind quite generally." —Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"In this lucid study of how children understand logical vocabulary, Crain makes a powerful case for a substantive form of logical nativism. Using tools from classical logic and generative grammar, he unifies a range of individually impressive experimental results, thereby illustrating his fruitful method for investigating how semantic and logical competences are related." —Paul M. Pietroski, Professor of Philosophy and Linguistics, University of Maryland
"New and deep ideas are a rarity in the study of language acquisition, and Stephen Crain’s The Emergence of Meaning has plenty of both. This is likely to be considered one of the most important books in language acquisition in years." —Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and the author of The Language Instinct and The Stuff of Thought.