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The Child's Path to Spoken Language


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Table of Contents

A Biolinguistic Approach to Language Development Faces and Voices: The Perceptual Path to Spoken Communication The Social Capacity for Spoken Language Vocal Communication and Vocal Learning The Infant Becomes Articulate The Neural Specialization for Linguistic Communication Development of the Neural Capacity for Linguistic Communication The Urge to Convey and the Capacity for Reference Development of Spoken Language Other Paths: The Neurobiology of Linguistic Variation Reflections on the Path to Language References Credits Index

About the Author

John L. Locke is Lecturer on Neurology, Harvard Medical School. He is Director of the Neurolinguistics Laboratory and of the Graduate Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital.


In a fascinating, scholarly and clearly written account, [Locke] takes us to the brink of language proper by examining its perceptual, social, neural and cognitive precursors from before birth to the appearance of the first recognizable words. -- Paul Fletcher Nature Locke reminds us that language learning occurs in the very real context of physical and social maturation and that children are neither little linguists nor experimental subjects in the laboratory. Researchers approaching the problem of language acquisition from different perspectives should welcome his contribution. -- Nan Bernstein Ratner Science John Locke attempts to bring together a wide range of findings from infancy research in order to explore links between early development and the emergence of language...[and] provides authoritative and extremely clear summaries of relevant research...Locke has gone a good way towards charting the territory of a very important area and it is an essential read for those who are concerned with development in infancy. -- Margaret Harris British Journal of Developmental Psychology

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