Emergence of Language by Brian MacWhinney
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Emergence of Language
By Brian MacWhinney

The Emergence of Language

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Format: Hardback

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Emergence of Language by Brian MacWhinney

Book Description

For nearly four centuries, our understanding of human development has been controlled by the debate between nativism and empiricism. Nowhere has the contrast between these apparent alternatives been sharper than in the study of language acquisition. However, as more is learned about the details of language learning, it is found that neither nativism nor empiricism provides guidance about the ways in which complexity arises from the interaction of simpler developmental forces. For example, the child's first guesses about word meanings arise from the interplay between parental guidance, the child's perceptual preferences, and neuronal support for information storage and retrieval. As soon as the shape of the child's lexicon emerges from these more basic forces, an exploration of "emergentism" as a new alternative to nativism and empiricism is ready to begin. This book presents a series of emergentist accounts of language acquisition. Each case shows how a few simple, basic processes give rise to new levels of language complexity. The aspects of language examined here include auditory representations, phonological and articulatory processes, lexical semantics, ambiguity processing, grammaticality judgment, and sentence comprehension. The approaches that are invoked to account formally for emergent patterns include neural network theory, dynamic systems, linguistic functionalism, construction grammar, optimality theory, and statistically-driven learning. The excitement of this work lies both in the discovery of new emergent patterns and in the integration of theoretical frameworks that can formalize the theory of emergentism.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780805830101
ISBN-10: 0805830103
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 152mm x 29mm)
Pages: 518
Imprint: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc
Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc
Publish Date: 15-Mar-1999
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...


Books By Author Brian MacWhinney

Handbook of Language Emergence by Brian MacWhinney Handbook of Language Emergence, Hardback (January 2015)

* Explores the latest integrated theory for understanding human language, creating an inclusive and in-depth text on the rapidly evolving emergentist paradigm * Brings together an international team of contributors, including the most prominent advocates of emergentist accounts of language.

Competing Motivations in Grammar and Usage by Brian MacWhinney Competing Motivations in Grammar and Usage, Hardback (October 2014)

This volume examines the conflicting factors that shape the content and form of grammatical rules in language, which speakers and addressees need to contend with when expressing themselves and when trying to comprehend messages. Chapters examine adult language, first and second language acquisition, and the motivations behind historical change

Emergence of Language by Brian MacWhinney Emergence of Language, Paperback (February 1999)

This text presents a series of emergentist accounts of language acquisition. The aspects of language examined here include auditory representations, phonological and articulatory processes, lexical semantics, ambiguity processing, grammaticality judgement and sentence comprehension.

» View all books by Brian MacWhinney

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