First Steps in Language Acquisition

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The roots of language acquisition in preverbal cognitive and communicative systems and the early development of comprehension and production of language between 8 and 30 months are described. Individual differences in language learning patterns emerge from the interaction of the child's theory of communicative function, the child's prelinguistic cognitive organization, and the model of the language presented to him or her by adults and other children. © 1977, The American Academy of Child Psychiatry. All rights reserved.




Nelson, K. (1977). First Steps in Language Acquisition. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 16(4), 563–583.

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