The contributors to this volume discuss different paradigms and approaches in infant language and cognition, pushing the frontiers of research by innovatively combining methods, introducing new measures, and demonstrating the use of technologies and measurement approaches that can inform the study of word learning and categorization, gaze, attention, gesture, and physiological functions. The volume offers a blend of theories and empirical evidence to support, refute, or modify them. Most chapters examine the link between theory and methodology, and their appearance together in a single volume serves to inform and engage multiple disciplines, to engage everyone to think across disciplines and paradigms, to embrace the integration of creativity and science as the field continues to study in greater depth and with innovative measures and approaches, the infant pathways to language.
The volume is essential reading for a wide range of students, researchers, and professionals with an interest in infant cognitive and language development.
Despite an abundance of textbooks, specialized monographs, and a couple of academic handbooks, there has been no encyclopedic reference work in this area--until now. The Encyclopedia of Language Development covers the breadth of theory and research on language development from birth through adulthood, as well as their practical application.
Available in both print and electronic formats, Encyclopedia of Language Development is a must-have reference for researchers and is ideal for library reference or circulating collections.
Susan Foster-Cohen explores a range of issues, including the nature of prelinguistic communication and its possible relationship to linguistic development; early stages of language development and how they can be viewed in the light of later developments; the nature and role of children's experience with the language(s) around them; variations in language development due to both pathological and non-pathological differences between children, and (in the latter case) between the languages they learn; later oral language development; and literacy. The approach is distinctly psycholinguistic and linguistic rather than sociolinguistic, although there is significant treatment of issues which intersect with more sociolinguistic concerns (e.g. literacy, language play, and bilingualism). There are exercises and discussion questions throughout, designed to reinforce the ideas being presented, as well as to offer the student the opportunity to think beyond the text to ideas at the cutting edge of research.
The accessible presentation of key issues will appeal to the intended undergraduate readership, and will be of interest to those taking courses in language development, linguistics, developmental psychology, educational linguistics, and speech pathology. The book will also serve as a useful introduction to students wishing to pursue post-graduate courses which deal with child language development.
Throughout, an evaluation is made of the research on patterns of typical development across languages in monolingual and bilingual children and children with speech impairments affecting various aspects of their developing complex system. Also considered is the status of available theoretical perspectives on phonological acquisition relative to an emergence proposal, and contributions that this perspective could make to more comprehensive modeling of the nature of phonological acquisition are proposed.
The volume will be of interest to cognitive psychologists, linguistics, and speech pathologists.