The Discovery of Spoken Language marks one of the first efforts to integrate the field of infant speech perception research into the general study of language acquisition. It fills in a key part of the acquisition story by providing an extensive review of research on the acquisition of language during the first year of life, focusing primarily on how normally developing infants learn the organization of native language sound patterns.
Peter Jusczyk examines the initial capacities that infants possess for discriminating and categorizing speech sounds and how these capacities evolve as infants gain experience with native language input. Jusczyk also looks at how infants' growing knowledge of native language sound patterns may facilitate the acquisition of other aspects of language organization and discusses the relationship between the learner's developing capacities for perceiving and producing speech.
"The book presents an excellent overview of the field and will certainly serve as an important source of reference for speech perception and language acquisition researchers. At the same time, it contains many fascinating theoretical insights into the operation of basic principles of development that have the potential to inspire future research within and beyond the area of speech perception."
—Vera Kempe, Contemporary Psychology