9.57J / 24.904J Language Acquisition

Fall 2001

A sample stimulus item from an experiment testing children's knowledge of pronoun reference.
A sample stimulus item from an experiment testing children's knowledge of pronoun reference. (Drawing by Prof. Ken Wexler.)

Course Highlights

What is it that someone knows, when we say that he or she knows a language? This is the question addressed by linguists and psycholinguists exploring the structure of a language. This course features an extensive reading list. The assignments are in the form of problem sets with solutions. A detailed overview of the subject as well as reviews of the course are located in the study materials

Course Description

Covers the major results in the study of first language acquisition concentrating on the development of linguistic structure, including sentence structure and morphology. Universal aspects of development are discussed, as well as a variety of cross-linguistic phenomena. Theories of language learning are considered, including parameter-setting and maturation.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

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Prof. Ken Wexler

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session