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The Comparative Method of Language Acquisition Research$
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Clifton Pye

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226481289

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226481319.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 20 May 2022

Comparing Languages

Comparing Languages

(p.1) Chapter One Comparing Languages
The Comparative Method of Language Acquisition Research

Clifton Pye

University of Chicago Press

This book discusses the comparative method of language acquisition research and its use in conducting a comprehensive crosslinguistic analysis that demonstrates how an analysis of one part of the grammar (lexical acquisition) informs the acquisition of verb inflection, which then informs the analysis of Mayan argument structure. The book focuses on how children acquire the Mayan languages K'iche', Mam, and Ch'ol and compares these results with those from previous research on other Mayan languages in order to provide a broader picture of Mayan language acquisition. This chapter examines the monolingual approach to crosslinguistic research; the problem of finding a unit of comparison that is valid in all languages for crosslinguistic research on language acquisition; why a crosslinguistic study of language acquisition is needed; the comparative method of crosslinguistic research; and the comparative method as a natural extension to usage-based approaches to language acquisition.

Keywords:   comparative method, language acquisition research, Mayan languages, K'iche', Mam, Ch'ol, monolingual approach, crosslinguistic research, usage-based approach, language acquisition

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