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The Acquisition of Creole Languages
How Children Surpass their Input

$103.00 (C)

  • Date Published: July 2012
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521199650

$103.00 (C)
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About the Authors
  • How do children acquire a Creole as their first language? This relatively underexplored question is the starting point for this first book of its kind; it also asks how first language acquisition of a Creole differs from that of a non-Creole language. Dany Adone reveals that in the absence of a conventional language model, Creole children acquire language and go beyond the input they receive. This study discusses the role of input, a hotly debated issue in the field of first language acquisition, and provides support for the nativist approach in the debate between nativism and input-based models. The Acquisition of Creole Languages will be essential reading for those in the fields of first language acquisition and Creole studies. Adone takes an interdisciplinary approach, using insights from non-verbal language acquisition, which makes this of great interest to those in the field of sign linguistics.

    • Explains for the first time how Creole children acquire complex structures in their first language
    • Demonstrates that in Creole languages, children's acquisition of complex structures surpass their input
    • Experimental data supports the challenge to established models of language acquisition
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Advance Praise: "Dr. Adone is, to date, the only scholar to deal with the acquisition of a creole language, and this book both broadens and deepens her pioneering 1994 study. It should prove indispensible as both stimulus and benchmark for those who, hopefully, will now study acquisition in other creoles." --Derek Bickerton, Professor Emeritus, University of Hawaii at Manoa

    "This is the first book to present a comprehensive review of the acquisition of creole languages. The inclusion of sign language acquisition makes this volume even more welcome, as it provides to researchers concerned with spoken language acquisition, as well as those concerned with sign language acquisition, an introduction to a modality-independent view of creole acquisition." --Bencie Woll, Director, Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre UCL

    "This invaluable monograph provides novel research results from comprehension, production and judgment tasks on the acquisition of four aspects of the syntax of French-based creoles spoken in Mauritius and the Seychelles, relating to binding, double object, passive and serial verb structures. It is a fascinating study and an invaluable research resource for anyone interested in first language acquisition and creoles." --Andrew Radford, Professor, Department of Language and Linguistics, University of Exeter

    "Dany Adone's work is a model of how to approach Creole languages: she weaves together modern perspectives on the acquisition problem, extra-linguistic effects, linguistic theory, sophisticated experimental techniques, and fieldwork to address classic questions in binding theory, quantification, passive, recursion, and especially double object constructions and Serial Verb Constructions. She shows that children spontaneously exhibit recursion in the unusual Serial Verb Construction, revealing the most sophisticated form of linguistic creativity in the most challenging environments where the poverty of stimulus---limited input--is present. This work not only reflects on core issues in acquisition but should inspire acquisition study of novel forms of creativity in understudied languages." --Thomas Roeper, Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521199650
    • length: 248 pages
    • dimensions: 233 x 155 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • contains: 28 b/w illus. 21 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Creole languages
    2. Issues in first language acquisition
    3. Complex Creole syntax
    4. Child Creole data
    5. Pronouns and reflexives
    6. Double-object constructions
    7. Passive constructions
    8. Serial verb constructions
    9. Acquisition without a conventional language model
    Appendix A. Experimental materials on pronouns and reflexives
    Appendix B. Experimental materials on double-object constructions
    Appendix C. Experimental materials on passive constructions
    Appendix D. Experimental materials on serial verb constructions.

  • Author

    Dany Adone, University of Cologne
    Dany Adone is a Professor of Applied English Linguistics, Director of the Australian Studies programme and Director of the Language Lab at the University of Cologne. She has also served as President of the Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics.

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