The study of child language and, in particular, child syntax is a growing area of linguistic research, yet methodological issues often take a backseat to the findings and conclusions of specific studies in the field. This book is designed in part as a handbook to assist students and researchers in the choice and use of methods for investigating children's grammar. For example, a method (or combination of methods) can be chosen based on what is measured and who the target subject is. In addition to the selection of methods, there are also pointers for designing and conducting experimental studies and for evaluating research.
Methods for Assessing Children's Syntax combines the best features of approaches developed in experimental psychology and linguistics that ground the study of language within the study of human cognition. The first three parts focus on specific methods, divided according to the type of data collected: production, comprehension, and judgment. Chapters in the fourth part take up general methodological considerations that arise regardless of which method is used. All of the methods described can be modified to meet the requirements of a specific study.
"This book is an invaluable resource for students and researchers in thefield of first language acquisition. All major methods of investigatingchildren's linguisitc competence and performance are included, withchapters written by investigators who have pioneered and perfected thetechniques. The book will be on every researcher's shelf." Virginia Valian, Professor of Psychology, Hunter College;Ph. D. Program in Linguistics, CUNY Graduate Center