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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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The Comparative Method of Language Acquisition Research

The Comparative Method of Language Acquisition Research

(p.49) Chapter Three The Comparative Method of Language Acquisition Research
The Comparative Method of Language Acquisition Research

Clifton Pye

University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the comparative method of crosslinguistic research on language acquisition. It first considers the comparative method of historical linguistics, which focuses on reconstructing the sounds, words, and grammar of an ancestral language from the linguistic features retained by the descendant languages. The chapter looks at a classic example of the comparative method using the words for house and one in the Mayan languages K'iche', Mam, and Ch'ol. It then examines the acquisition of negation in the Germanic languages to demonstrate the comparative method, again using examples from the three Mayan languages. It also describes the application of the comparative method to the analysis of verb inflection in the Germanic languages.

Keywords:   comparative method, crosslinguistic research, language acquisition, historical linguistics, Mayan languages, negation, Germanic languages, verb inflection

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