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Syntax and Semantics in Child Language - LING734

This unit covers theories of language acquisition, with a focus on Chomsky’s theory of Universal Grammar. The unit begins with the classic debate over whether children are born with innate knowledge of language. The remainder of the unit examines classic studies in the acquisition of syntax and semantics across a variety of languages. In the acquisition of syntax, we cover early emergence of syntax, children’s knowledge of hierarchical structure, structures derived by movement operations, and the interpretation of pronouns. The section on acquisition of semantics will discuss children’s knowledge of quantification, negation, logical connectives and entailment relations. Discussion of appropriate experimental methodologies for examining children's linguistic knowledge runs throughout all topic areas, with students working towards the development of a research proposal.

Credit Points: 4
When Offered:

S2 Day - Session 2, North Ryde, Day

Staff Contact(s): Associate Professor Rosalind Thornton, Dr Iain Giblin

Admission to MRes and permission by special approval Prerequisite Information


Unit Designation(s):
Unit Type:
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Linguistics

Faculty of Human Sciences

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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