Part 1 offers an overview of the developmental data pertaining to a range of syntactic phenomena, including word order, subject drop, embedded clauses, wh-questions, inversion, relative clauses, passives, and anaphora. Part 2 considers the various theories that have been advanced to explain the facts of development as well as the learnability problem, reporting on work in the mainstream formalist framework but also considering the results of alternative approaches.
Covering a wide range of perspectives in the modern study of syntactic development, this book is an invaluable reference for specialists in the field of language acquisition and provides an excellent introduction to the acquisition of syntax for students and researchers in psychology, linguistics, and cognitive science.
“I was very excited to see William O’Grady’s new text Syntactic Development. There is no one in the field more knowledgeable and theoretically balanced than O’Grady. This is the most important book on syntactic acquisition since Pinker, and it will bring the serious reader to a highly advanced level of understanding of the research and issues in syntactic development.”
“This is an excellent book in all regards. The level of scholarship is extremely high—the review of empirical and theoretical work is thorough, it is current, and it covers a wide range of different perspectives in the modern study of language development. O’Grady has the rare ability of providing an open-minded and informed introduction to theories other than his own.”
“What an incredible resource for students and researchers! There is simply nothing like it. The empirical thoroughness of O’Grady’s accountmakes this an indispensable addition to a library on language acquisition.”