Publisher description for Children's discourse : person, space and time across languages / Maya Hickmann.


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Counter This original comparative study explores two central questions in the study of first language acquisition: What is the relative impact of structural and functional determinants? What is universal versus language-specific during development? Maya Hickmann addresses these questions in three domains of child language: reference to entities, the representation of space, and uses of temporal-aspectual markings. She provides a thorough review of different theoretical approaches to language acquisition and a wide range of developmental research, as well as examining all three domains in English, French, German, and Chinese narratives. Hickmann's findings concern the rhythm of acquisition, the interplay among different factors (syntactic, semantic, pragmatic) determining children's uses, and universal versus variable aspects of acquisition. Her conclusions stress the importance of relating sentence and discourse determinants of acquisition in a crosslinguistic perspective. Children's Discourse will be welcomed by those working in psychology and language-related disciplines interested in first language acquisition.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Language acquisition, Discourse analysis, Narrative, Space and time in language