Language Acquisition I

An infant in a high chair focuses her attention on a man sitting next to her.

Over the first few years of life, a child masters most of her native language—both its basic vocabulary and its grammatical rules—with ease and without formal instruction. (Photo courtesy of Roland Li on Flickr. License: CC BY-NC-SA.)


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Fall 2020



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Course Description

This course focuses on the process by which native speakers of a language acquire the ability to speak and understand that language. It covers some of the major results in the study of first-language acquisition, concentrating on morpho-syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. The findings primarily come from English, but cross-linguistic differences in the phenomena of interest and corresponding differences in acquisition patterns are considered where appropriate. Of interest throughout is how these developmental data inform linguistic theory and/or learnability theory.

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Athulya Aravind. 24.949 Language Acquisition I. Fall 2020. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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