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A First Language

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Full reference for the book:

Brown, R A (Jun 1973) A First Language. Harvard Univ Press.

Publishers webpage for this book


Search for this book on the internet or in libraries near you by clicking on the ISBN number.

ISBN ISBN 0674303261


Brief summary of book In this book Roger Brown focused on three children, whom he called Adam, Eve, and Sarah. By carefully examining these children's use of language, he established empirical generalizations for the way in which any language is acquired. He reported that there is a remarkable consistency in the sequence in which English morphemes are acquired; that the "mean length of utterance" is a reliable measure of a child's status in learning English. Also he found that inflections of nouns come earlier than inflections of verbs. He observed that parents do not praise or citicize children on the basis of their grammar or syntax, rather they concentrate mainly on the factual accuracy of what is said. Therefore, contrary to Skinner's ideas, children do not learn their language on the basis of the principles of reinforcement, but rather on the basis of an epigenetically unfolding cognitive capacity.

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See also

Bellugi, U. & Brown, R (1972) Acquisition of Language.Univ.Chicago P. ISBN 0226767574

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