This course initially examines the details of first language acquisition data, e.g., stages of acquisition, children’s early linguistic errors, word acquisition, speech sound recognition, differences in first language acquisition cross-linguistically, etc. After establishing the acquisition “facts” that have to be explained, the course investigates various linguistic analyses and their predictive adequacy with respect to acquisition. In addition to the question of whether the correct predictions are made regarding the linguistic data, we also explore whether the theories in question explain how any child learns the language to which s/he is “exposed,” no matter what that language is.
Intended for junior and senior linguistics concentrators. It assumes a solid background in (theoretical) syntax, phonology, or semantics. Any or all will suffice.