Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Language Development

  • Catherine S. Tamis-LeMondaEmail author
  • Lulu Song
  • Katelyn K. Fletcher
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2410-1



Language development is the process by which children come to understand and produce language to communicate with others, and entails the different components of phonology (sounds of a language), semantics (word meanings), grammar (rules on combining words into sentences), and pragmatics (the norms around communication).


Language lies at the heart of humanity. The thousands of words and countless nuanced grammatical rules of language enable people to achieve a depth and breadth of social understanding and communication that is uniquely human. Without language, people would be left to rely on imprecise facial expressions and body movements to guess others’ intentions, states, and emotions. People would be unable to pass along complex information and fully exploit the expertise of others. Language underpins the transmission of knowledge, traditions, expectations, and values across generations...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lulu Song
    • 2
  • Katelyn K. Fletcher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied PsychologyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Early Childhood Education/Art EducationBrooklyn College, the City University of New YorkBrooklynUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Carey Fitzgerald
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South Carolina - BeaufortBlufftonUSA