How Children Learn to Speak
Children acquire language spontaneously without being explicitly taught how. Their mastery of sounds passes through stages determined by a progression from unmarked (ontologically primary) to more marked sounds, unmarked ones also being those most commonly found in languages and least likely to erode over time, as discovered by founding linguist Roman Jakobson. Their mastery of other aspects of grammar proceeds along with their ability to master rules rather than simply memorize.
Pinker, Steven. 1984. Language learnability and language development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
O’Grady, William. 1997. Syntactic development. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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