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.
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