Learnability and Cognition
The Acquisition of Argument Structure
By (author) Steven Pinker
Learnability and Cognition by Steven Pinker
Book DescriptionWhen children learn a language, they soon are able to make surprisingly subtle distinctions: "donate them a book" sounds odd, for example, even though "give them a book" is perfectly natural. How can this happen, given that children do not confine themselves to the sentence types they hear, and are usually not corrected when they speak ungrammatically? Steven Pinker resolves this paradox in a detailed theory of how children acquire argument structure. In tackling a learning paradox that has challenged scholars for more than a decade, Pinker synthesizes a vast literature in linguistics and psycholinguistics and outlines explicit theories of the mental representation, learning, and development of verb meaning and verb syntax. The new theory that he describes has some surprising implications for the relation between language and thought.Pinker's solution provides insight into such key questions as, When do children generalize and when do they stick with what they hear? What is the rationale behind linguistic constraints? How is the syntax of predicates and arguments related to their semantics? What is a possible word meaning? Do languages force their speakers to construe the world in certain ways? Why does children's language seem different from that of adults? Learnability and Cognition is included in the series Learning, Development, and Conceptual Change, edited by Lila Gleitman, Susan Carey, Elissa Newport, and Elizabeth Spelke. A Bradford Book
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780262660730
(229mm x 152mm x 25mm)
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Oct-1991
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Steven Pinker
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In a world driven by technology and ever-closer global networks, is humanity approaching a Golden Age, or is the notion of progress an illusion born in the West?
Language, Cognition, and Human Nature, Paperback (October 2015)View all books by Steven Pinker
Collects for the first time Steven Pinker's most influential scholarly work on language and cognition. Pinker is a highly eminent cognitive scientist, and these essays emphasize the importance of language and its connections to cognition, social relationships, child development, human evolution, and theories of human nature.
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Author Biography - Steven Pinker
Steven Pinker is Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University.
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