Language Processing and Language Acquisition

  • Lyn Frazier
  • Jill De Villiers

Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 10)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Lyn Frazier, Jill De Villiers
    Pages 1-11
  3. Thomas Roeper, Jürgen Weissenborn
    Pages 147-162
  4. Nobuko Hasegawa
    Pages 207-223
  5. Jill De Villiers, Thomas Roeper, Anne Vainikka
    Pages 257-297
  6. Dana McDaniel, Helen Smith Cairns
    Pages 313-325
  7. Stephen Crain, Cecile Mckee, Maria Emiliani
    Pages 335-356
  8. Jane Grimshaw, Sara Thomas Rosen
    Pages 357-367
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 383-398

About this book


Studies of language acqUiSItion have largely ignored processing prin­ ciples and mechanisms. Not surprisingly, questions concerning the analysis of an informative linguistic input - the potential evidence for grammatical parameter setting - have also been ignored. Especially in linguistic approaches to language acquisition, the role of language processing has not been prominent. With few exceptions (e. g. Goodluck and Tavakolian, 1982; Pinker, 1984) discussions of language perform­ ance tend to arise only when experimental debris, the artifact of some experiment, needs to be cleared away. Consequently, language pro­ cessing has been viewed as a collection of rather uninteresting perform­ ance factors obscuring the true object of interest, namely, grammar acquisition. On those occasions when parsing "strategies" have been incorporated into accounts of language development, they have often been discussed as vague preferences, not open to rigorous analysis. In principle, however, theories of language comprehension can and should be subjected to the same criteria of explicitness and explanatoriness as other theories, e. g. , theories of grammar. Thus their peripheral role in accounts of language development may reflect accidental factors, rather than any inherent fuzziness or irrelevance to the language acquisition problem. It seems probable that an explicit model of the way(s) processing routines are applied in acquisition would help solve some central problems of grammar acquisition, since these routines regulate the application of grammatical knowledge to novel inputs.


Italy grammar integration knowledge language acquisition nature relative clauses structure

Editors and affiliations

  • Lyn Frazier
    • 1
  • Jill De Villiers
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologySmith CollegeNorthamptonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands 1990
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-0-7923-0660-3
  • Online ISBN 978-94-011-3808-6
  • Series Print ISSN 1873-0043
  • Buy this book on publisher's site