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By Maya Hickmann

Psycholinguist Maya Hickmann offers an unique comparative research of discourse improvement in English, French, German, and chinese language. Hickmann discusses the most theoretical concerns within the research of first language acquisition and gives a large evaluate of obtainable experiences in 3 domain names of kid language: individual, house and time. Her findings situation the rhythm of language acquisition, its formal and sensible determinants, and its common vs. language-specific facets. The conclusions tension the significance of referring to sentence and discourse determinants of acquisition in a crosslinguistic point of view.

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Extra resources for Children’s Discourse: Person, Space and Time across Languages

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The German dative and accusative case, respectively). g. English up/down, away, back), which do not exist in other languages (such as Romance languages). Second, languages partition in different ways the semantic universe of spatial relations. Thus, prepositions that are seemingly similar across languages need not encompass the same set of spatial relations, for example everything that can be expressed by English on need not or cannot be expressed by French sur. Yet a third type of cross-linguistic variation concerns the ways in which languages organise different types of spatial information across various elements in the clause.

Some evidence suggests that children have difficulties with the linear organisation of spatio-temporal information and that typological factors influence their discourse organisation. The second part of the book first pursues this literature review in Chapter 7, which focuses on pervasive methodological problems in the study of language acquisition. The remainder of this chapter describes the design of the study presented in subsequent chapters, which examines the narrative productions of children and adults in four languages (English, German, French, and Chinese) in order to address some of the unanswered questions previously raised.

Different constructivistic views postulate some innate ‘predispositions’ on the part of the infant to learn the rules of language and/or of other behaviours in other domains. These intermediary positions vary with respect to the learning mechanisms they postulate, partly as a function of the type of initial equipment they attribute to the infant. Cognitivist models see language development as the consequence of a more general cognitive development, which is itself determined by biologically pre-programmed endogenous processes and underlies all of ontogenetic development across domains of knowledge.

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