Language Development from Birth to Three

Language Development from Birth to Three

Language Development from Birth to Three

Language Development from Birth to Three

Excerpt

This book presents a synthesis of two areas of research: infant cognition and early language development. It treats the development of language, which begins in the second year, as continuous with the development of the symbolic capacity, which takes place in the first year. The juxtaposition of the linguistic period with the prelinguistic period results in a sharper portrayal of each of these periods.

The aim of the book is to provide a sophisticated understanding of the development of symbols and language without requiring a background in the scientific study of children or language. In pursuance of this goal, I develop the ideas gradually and make explicit the fundamental insights of earlier scholars that are taken for granted in current work. A glossary is appended to help clarify concepts used in the text.

The book is intended for a wide audience, including students in courses on language development and child psychology, as well as professionals in these fields, and in the fields of education, linguistics, and pediatrics. Educated parents will also find the book useful in providing the foundations for effective practices that enhance their children's linguistic and cognitive development.

Work on the book started in earnest during my sabbatical leave in the Department of Psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem during 1976-1977. I am grateful to I. M. Schlesinger for his hospitality and for reacting constructively to a couple of preliminary chapters. I also wish to express my gratitude to other friends and colleagues who read chapters along the way and gave me the benefit of their criticisms. They include: Harts Furth, Michael Gertner, Shoshana Goldman, Allan Goldstein, Charles Greenbaum, David Lewkowicz, Rita Neugut, Sue Rose, Phyllis . . .

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