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Child talk

By three, most children can say things which have never been said before in the whole of human history.

Building a language

Languages and their local varieties have to be learnt. In the 1980s, particularly from work by Noam Chomsky (1981) and Hagit Borer (1984), many linguists came to think of language learning in terms of choices.  >>>

Hidden universals

The specificities of language are obvious – fall, fell, falls, falling, fallen, stand, stood, stands, standing, and so on. These are points of potential difficulty for children and second language learners alike. But there are universals too. >>>

Infinite creativity

By the generative framework which I follow, the number of meaningful sentences is infinite. >>>


Children who can say every word in English apart from one or two evidently hard words like hippopotamus would seem not to have a great deal more to learn about the pronunciation of the language. Most children reach this point between six and half and eight and a half. >>>

Patterns in ‘processes’

The notion of order in disorder is absurd. There should not be any patterns at all. >>>


Why should it be that developmental problems with speech and / or language are typically complex’? Dyslexia, and speech and language disorders and disorders with respect to what are known as ‘metalinguistics’ seem to happen together far more frequently than would be expected by chance. >>>