What Shapes Children's Grammars?
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What Shapes Children's Grammars? book
Crosslinguistic comparisons have been used systematically in the study of the human capacity for language acquisition for only a short time, less than 20 years. But research has been intensive in this period. The present volumes are a land mark in the continuing development of this essential research tool in part because they bring together a wealth of information about the acquisition of various languages, most of it quite recent. Beyond this, however, they are important because they represent the state-of-the-art in the vigorous program of crosslinguistic research and theorizing launched over 10 years ago by Dan Slobin in his seminal 1973 article, "Cognitive prerequisites for the development of gram mar." It is a good time to take stock of how far we have come with this
approach, what its strengths and weaknesses are, and where we should go with it next. This chapter is devoted to these questions.