How well have classic ideas on whole-word phonology stood the test of time? Waterson claimed that each child has a system of their own; Ferguson and Farwell emphasized the relative accuracy of first words; Menn noted the occurrence of regression and the emergence of phonological systematicity. This volume brings together classic texts such as these with current data-rich studies of British and American English, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Finnish, French, Japanese, Polish and Spanish. This combination of classic and contemporary work from the last thirty years presents the reader with cutting-edge perspectives on child language by linking historical approaches with current ideas such as exemplar theory and usage-based phonology, and contrasting state-of-the-art perspectives from developmental psychology and linguistics. This is a valuable resource for cognitive scientists, developmentalists, linguists, psychologists, speech scientists and therapists interested in understanding how children begin to use language without the benefit of language-specific innate knowledge.
Jeffrey L. Elman - University of California, San Diego
Sara Howard - University of Sheffield