Brian Richards examines variation in children's early language development, with special emphasis on the auxiliary verb. He identifies significant variation both in the age and in the stage of emergence of auxiliaries, and in the rate, style and sequence of subsequent development. He relates some of these aspects to a tendency to acquire the auxiliary holistically, and others to the quality of interaction with the child's partners in conversation. This book will be valuable to all those interested in language acquisition, whether linguists, psychologists, or speech therapists.
Part 1. Introductory Sections: 1. The auxiliary and the young language learner; 2. Rate of auxiliary verb learning in thirty-three children; Part II. Individual Differences and Auxiliary Verb Learning in Seven Children: 3. Research design; 4. Rate of development; 5. Indicators of analytic and piecemeal learning; 6. The complexity principle as an indicator of holistic learning; 7. Individual differences and the development of auxiliaries in tag questions; 8. The development of auxiliary DO; 9. The development of CAN; Part III: Environmental Influences and Individual Differences in Auxiliary Verb Learning: 10. Previous research; 11. Yes/No questions and rate of auxiliary learning for thirty-two children; 12. Conclusion; Notes; References; Index.