This study treats human language as the manifestation of a faculty of the mind, which is seen as a mental organ whose nature is determined by human biology and whose functional properties should be explored as physiology explores the functional properties of physical organs. The book surveys the nature of the language faculty in its various aspects: the systems of sounds, words, and syntax, the development of language in the child and historically, what is known about its relation to the brain.
STEPHEN R. ANDERSON is Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Yale University. He is the author of The Organization of Phonology (1974), Phonology in the Twentieth Century (1985), and A-Morphous Morphology (Cambridge, 1992).
DAVID W. LIGHTFOOT is Dean of the Graduate School, Georgetown University. He is the author of eight books, most recently The Development of Language (1999).
Introduction; 1. Studying the human language faculty; 2. Language as a mental organ; 3. Syntax; 4. Sound patterns to language; 5. Describing linguistic knowledge; 6. Phonetics and the I-linguistics of speech; 7. Morphology; 8. Language change; 9. 'Growing' a language; 10. The organic basis of language.