State of the Art: Language Acquisition

David Messer looks at the continuing controversies.
Many would argue that using language is an ability unique to humans. It is a central component to all our lives and is especially important in allowing children to learn so much and so extensively about their world. Despite this, there still remains controversy about how children are able to acquire language so quickly, given the immaturity of their other cognitive abilities and the lack of formal tuition. In this review, I will discuss the main ideas about the way children master the grammar of their mother tongue.1

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