Stephen Crain

  • Investigations in Universal Grammar

    Investigations in Universal Grammar

    A Guide to Experiments on the Acquisition of Syntax and Semantics

    Stephen Crain and Rosalind Thornton

    This introductory guide to language acquisition research is presented within the framework of Universal Grammar, a theory of the human faculty for language. The authors focus on two experimental techniques for assessing children's linguistic competence: the Elicited Production task, a production task, and the Truth Value Judgment task, a comprehension task. Their methodologies are designed to overcome the numerous obstacles to empirical investigation of children's language competence. They produce research results that are more reproducible and less likely to be dismissed as an artifact of improper experimental procedure.

    In the first section of the book, the authors examine the fundamental assumptions that guide research in this area; they present both a theory of linguistic competence and a model of language processing. In the following two sections, they discuss in detail their two experimental techniques.

    • Hardcover $88.00
    • Paperback $37.00


  • The Processing and Acquisition of Reference

    The Processing and Acquisition of Reference

    Edward A. Gibson and Neal J. Pearlmutter

    How people refer to objects in the world, how people comprehend reference, and how children acquire an understanding of and an ability to use reference.

    This volume brings together contributions by prominent researchers in the fields of language processing and language acquisition on topics of common interest: how people refer to objects in the world, how people comprehend such referential expressions, and how children acquire the ability to refer and to understand reference. The contributors first discuss issues related to children's acquisition and processing of reference, then consider evidence of adults' processing of reference from eye-tracking methods (the visual-world paradigm) and from corpora and reading experiments. They go on to discuss such topics as how children resolve ambiguity, children's difficulty in understanding coreference, the use of eye movements to physical objects to measure the accessibility of different referents, the uses of probabilistic and pragmatic information in language comprehension, antecedent accessibility and salience in reference, and neuropsychological data from the event-related potential (ERP) recording literature.

    • Hardcover $45.00