Language Acquisition and the Form of the Grammar

David Lebeaux | NEC Research Institute, Princeton, NJ.
ISBN 9789027225658 (Eur) | EUR 110.00
ISBN 9781556198588 (USA) | USD 165.00
ISBN 9789027298454 | EUR 110.00 | USD 165.00
Google Play logo
Language Acquisition and the Form of the Grammar attempts to re-think the ideal organization of the grammar, given its need to be learned. The book proposes a fundamental connection between the form of the adult grammar and the sequence of grammars which the child adopts in first language acquisition. Challenging the conventional division between language acquisition and syntax, this influential work constructs a new understanding of phrase structure, bringing syntactic data to bear on phrase structure composition. Two new phrase structure composition operations are proposed, Adjoin-α, which adjoins adjuncts into the structure, and Project-α, which fuses open class and closed class structures. The author also introduces the novel concept of subgrammars, successively larger grammars that take the child from the initial state to the adult grammar. This work will be of interest to those in the areas of syntax, language acquisition, learnability, and cognitive science in general.
[Not in series, 97] 2000.  xxx, 277 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“A recognized classic in the field since its appearance as a doctoral dissertation, a fount of highly productive ideas and insights that has inspired very important work. That it will be available as a book is very welcome news for anyone working in the wide range of fields that Lebeaux explored in this really outstanding contribution.”
“[...] a watershed in acquisition theory. No other work has so elegantly used acquisition data to bring clarity to intuitional data, and thereby to revise core aspects of linguistic theory. [...] In addition [Lebeaux] offers an important perspective on how lexical structure develops into syntactic structure, and how we should refashion the concept of learnability. It is a model of how acquisition theory and linguistic theory can advance together.”
“Lebeaux’s core ideas [...] are now central to the Minimalist Program. His elaboration of these ideas, however, provides a challenge to current theories of Minimalist phrase structure.”
“Given the pole position (in both formal approaches to language acquisition and the refining of grammatical theory) that K's dissertation has held since the late 1980s, this book is a welcome publication, finally making this fine piece of work easily accessible to a wider audience.”
Cited by

Cited by 15 other publications

Ahn, Hee-Don & Sungeun Cho
2022. On Some (A)symmetrical Properties of Scramblings. Lanaguage Research 58:1  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Ahn, Hee-Don & Sungeun Cho
2022. On Some (A)symmetrical Properties of Scramblings. Lanaguage Research 58:1  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Bruening, Benjamin, Xuyen Dinh & Lan Kim
2018. Selection, idioms, and the structure of nominal phrases with and without classifiers. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 3:1 DOI logo
Corver, Norbert, Jeroen Van Craenenbroeck, William Harwood, Marko Hladnik, Sterre Leufkens & Tanja Temmerman
2019. Introduction: The compositionality and syntactic flexibility of verbal idioms. Linguistics 57:4  pp. 725 ff. DOI logo
Fellbaum, Christiane
2019. How flexible are idioms? A corpus-based study. Linguistics 57:4  pp. 735 ff. DOI logo
Hollebrandse, Bart & Tom Roeper
2014. Empirical Results and Formal Approaches to Recursion in Acquisition. In Recursion: Complexity in Cognition [Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics, 43],  pp. 179 ff. DOI logo
Höhle, Barbara, Jürgen Weissenborn, Dorothea Kiefer, Antje Schulz & Michaela Schmitz
2004. Functional Elements in Infants' Speech Processing: The Role of Determiners in the Syntactic Categorization of Lexical Elements. Infancy 5:3  pp. 341 ff. DOI logo
Joseph, Kate L., Ludovica Serratrice & Gina Conti-Ramsden
2002. Development of copula and auxiliary BE in children with Specific Language Impairment and younger unaffected controls. First Language 22:2  pp. 137 ff. DOI logo
Kiguchi, Hirohisa & Rosalind Thornton
2016. Connectivity Effects in Pseudoclefts in Child Language. Studia Linguistica 70:1  pp. 34 ff. DOI logo
Lazarova-Nikoska, Ana
2004. Différence de Rythme : l’Adulte acquiert-t-il plus rapidement que l’enfant ?. Acquisition et interaction en langue étrangère :20  pp. 13 ff. DOI logo
Ninio, Anat
2019. Complement or adjunct? The syntactic principle English-speaking children learn when producing determiner–noun combinations in their early speech. First Language 39:1  pp. 33 ff. DOI logo
Roeper, Tom
2019. C-Command in Discourse: Syntactic Principles Beyond the Sentence and Their Consequences for Acquisition Theory. In Grammatical Approaches to Language Processing [Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics, 48],  pp. 309 ff. DOI logo
Smith, Mark, Ian Apperly & Victoria White
2003. False Belief Reasoning and the Acquisition of Relative Clause Sentences. Child Development 74:6  pp. 1709 ff. DOI logo
Weissenborn, J.
2002. The Acquisition of Verb Placement in German: A New Look. In Basic Functions of Language, Reading and Reading Disability [Neuropsychology and Cognition, 20],  pp. 79 ff. DOI logo
Wintner, Shuly, Alon Lavie & Brian MacWhinney
2009. Formal Grammars of Early Language. In Languages: From Formal to Natural [Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 5533],  pp. 204 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 19 april 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

CF: Linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  00039775 | Marc record