Child Language

Child Language

Child Language

Child Language


Assuming no prior knowledge, books in the Routledge English Language Introductions series offer an accessible overview of the subject, with activities, study questions, sample analyses, commentaries and key readings - all in the same volume. The innovative and flexible 'two-dimensional' structure is built around four sections - introductions, development, exploration and extension - which offer self-contained stages for study. Each topic can also be read across these sections, enabling the reader to build gradually on the knowledge gained. Child Language :* is a comprehensive introduction to child language, introducing students to the key theories of language acquisition and teaching them skills for analyzing children's language* covers the core areas of language acquisition: phonological, semantic, syntactic, morphological and discourse development, the bilingual child and language development in exceptional circumstances* draws on a range of real texts and data* provides classic readings by the key names in the discipline: J. Becker, Roger Brown, R. Ely, Jean Berko-Gleason, J.N. Jorgenson, D. Messer, S. Pinker and N. Smith.


This workbook has been written for all those who are embarking on the study of children’s language for the first time and have little or no prior background in linguistics. Because of this, technical terminology has been kept to a minimum. Where specialist terms have been introduced, they are explained in the text. You will find them high-lighted as KEY WORDS. You should not need to do any supplementary reading while you are working your way through this book. However, the Further Reading section at the end of the workbook will provide you with suggested background reading and the sources for the research and data which we will be discussing in the units.

Key word

Units 1-10 cover some of the basic techniques involved in studying children’s acquisition of word meanings, sentence structure, word formation processes, conversation skills and pronunciation patterns. As you work through these units you will find a number of exercises. Some of these exercises involve the analysis of data from young children, while others are designed to give you the practical linguistic skills needed for this type of analysis. Each exercise is followed by a Comment section with a solution to the problem posed by the data and a further discussion of the topic under consideration. This workbook takes a ‘hands on’ approach to studying child language, and you will get much more out of the units if you complete each exercise before moving on to the Comment section.

At the end of each unit you will find Further Exercises which will give you the chance to practise and consolidate your skills. Answers to these exercises appear at the end of the workbook. The units also have Supplementary Exercises which allow for more independent work. These exercises do not have model answers and, if you are not using this book as part of a taught course, you may find it helpful to discuss your answers with someone else.

By the time you finish the first ten units, I hope that you will want to take your newly acquired skills into the real world and that you will want to learn even more about children’s language development.

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