Language: Development, Bilingualism, and Abnormal States

  • Christine French
  • Antolin M. Llorente
Part of the Issues of Diversity in Clinical Neuropsychology book series (ISSUESDIV)

Language is a common denominator in all settings, including social relationships, education, and professional interactions. According to Warner and Nelson (2000), “a language is built through orderly combinations of linguistic symbols into words, sentences, and discourse.” Language is what truly sets humans apart from other animals in that we have a pattern of vocalizations that produce effects on the listener and allow individuals to interpret their world through verbal means. In this regard, the outstanding social sciences philosopher D. C. Dennett (1978) has brilliantly noted that it is linguistic skills that allow humans to “generate” and “test” hypotheses inside their brains without the need to expose their organisms to situations that may represent peril, unlike animals without language. In other words, presupposing the absence of executive dysfunction, language allows for the formulation of testable hypotheses inside our minds without the need of exposure to dangerous circumstances, providing for species preservation, consistent with evolutionary theory (cf. Darwin, 1967).


Phonological Awareness Language Development Language Proficiency Language Impairment Language Disorder 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine French
    • 1
  • Antolin M. Llorente
    • 2
  1. 1.Children's Medical Center of DallasDallasUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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