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What is Language Development?
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What is Language Development?: Rationalist, empiricist, and pragmatist approaches to the acquisition of syntax

James Russell


Debates within the field of syntactic development frequently come down to disagreements about the very nature of language and of mental development. Indeed, one may see them either as resolving to traditional philosophical disputes (between Rationalism, Empiricism, and Pragmatism) or as three co-existing scientific paradigms. For the first time, this book presents these three approaches within two covers: (1) the Rationalism/Nativism of Noam Chomsky, (2) the Empiricism instinct in connectionist modelling of syntactic development, and (3) the Pragmatism of those such as Michael Tomasello who ad ... More

Keywords: Nativism, Chomsky, minimalist programme, associative learning, Tomasello, Connectionism, syntax

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780198530862
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198530862.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James Russell, author
Reader in Cognitive Development, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK