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By Maya Hickmann

Psycholinguist Maya Hickmann provides an unique comparative research of discourse improvement in English, French, German, and chinese language. Hickmann discusses the most theoretical concerns within the examine of first language acquisition and offers a large evaluation of accessible experiences in 3 domain names of kid language: individual, area and time. Her findings situation the rhythm of language acquisition, its formal and useful determinants, and its common vs. language-specific facets. The conclusions pressure the significance of referring to sentence and discourse determinants of acquisition in a crosslinguistic point of view.

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Extra info for Children’s Discourse: Person, Space and Time across Languages

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This complex question has always been rampant in linguistic and psycholinguistic theory, but it has taken on much importance in current theorising. It must be broken down into at least three more specific questions, to which theories of language acquisition provide different answers. First, theories make different assumptions concerning the domain-specificity of human knowledge. Second, at least two views have been proposed to relate general properties of language and of cognition during ontogenesis: one view puts forth the cognitive prerequisites and determinants of all developmental change, while the other claims that language structures human cognitive organisation.

The linguistic category of tense typically relates the time of a denoted situation to the time of the immediate speech situation, although other types of uses are also possible (for more details see Chapter 3). 29) presents an event as occurring during speech time. 28) John ate an apple. 29) John is eating an apple. The related category of aspect makes a universal distinction between perfective vs. imperfective aspect. As will be shown subsequently (Chapter 3), these aspect markings are tightly related to the semantic nature of predicates, such as their resultativity, which determine some interpretations of verbal inflections and their co-occurrences with other temporal-aspectual devices.

This characterisation applies especially to the most extreme nativistic models, which postulate that language acquisition is entirely determined by physiological maturation. However, it also underlies other less extreme nativistic views, even though they make some room for developmental mechanisms, such as additional inferences allowing the child to discover the structure of language. Yet other proposals (Pinker 1979, 1984, 1989) focus on the structure of child language, although some of these models differ from nativistic models in two major ways.

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