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Module Reading List

Approaches to Linguistics and Language Acquisition, 2019/20, Semester 1
Clare Wright
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Required Reading

Aarts, B. (2007)  Syntactic gradience : the nature of grammatical indeterminacy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter 2  

Ambridge, Ben and Elena V.M. Lieven (2011) Child language acquisition : contrasting theoretical approaches.Cambridge: CUP. Chapters 1, 3, 4, 6  

Crain, S. & M. Nakayama (1987) Structure dependence in grammar formation. Language. 63: 522-543.

Cutting, J. (Ed.) (2015). Language in context in TESOL ISBN: 9780748642816 (pbk.); 9780748642823 (hbk.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 

Dabrowska, Eva (2008) Questions with long-distance dependencies: A usage-based perspective. Cognitive Linguistics 19: 391-425.

Dabrowska, E. (2012) Different speakers, different grammars: Individual differences in native language attainment Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 2: 219-253.

Greenberg, Joseph H. (1966) Some Universals of Grammar with Particular Reference to the Order of Meaningful Elements, In J. Greenberg (ed.) Universals of language. Report of a conference held at Dobbs Ferry, New York, April 13-15, 1961, Cambridge, Mass: M.I.T. Press. pp. 73-113.  

Hoffmann, T. and G.Trousdale (eds) (2013) The Oxford handbook of construction grammar Oxford University Press. Chapter 1  

Jackendoff, R. (2002) Foundations of language : brain, meaning, grammar, evolution Oxford: OUP. Chapters 1, 3, 4, 5  

Jackendoff, R. (2012) A user's guide to thought and meaning. Oxford: OUP. Chapters 1-3  

Jordan, G. (2004). Chomsky. In Theory construction in second language acquisition ISBN: 9027217068 (Europe : pb : alk. paper) : No price; 902721705x; 1588114813 (U.S. : hb : alk. paper) : No price; 1588114821 (U.S. : pb : alk. paper) : No price; 0012944440. Amsterdam: John Benjamins (chapter 6).  

Lieven, E., D. Salomo and M. Tomasello (2009) Two-year-old children’s production of multiword utterances: A usage-based analysis. Cognitive Linguistics 20: 481-507. - Available online:

Marcus, G. (1993). Negative evidence in language acquisition. Cognition : international journal of cognitive science. ISSN: 0010-0277 46: 53-85.

Menezes, V. (2013). Second Language Acquisition: Reconciling theories. Open Journal of Applied Sciences ISSN: 2165-3917 3: 404-412. Available online:

Pinker, S. and M. Ullman. (2002). The past and future of the past tense. Trends in cognitive sciences. ISSN: 1364-6613 6(11): 456-463.

O’Grady, W. (2003), ‘The radical middle: Nativism without universal grammar’, in C.J. Doughty and M.H. Long (eds) The handbook of second language acquisition, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 43-62.  

Rothman, J. and R. Slabakova. (2017). Rothman, J., & Slabakova, R. (2017). The generative approach to SLA and its place in modern second language studies. Studies in second language acquisition. ISSN: 0272-2631 (accessed EarlyOnline), 1-26. doi:10.1017/S0272263117000134. Available online: doi:10.1017/S0272263117000134

Tomasello, M. (2003) Constructing a language : a usage-based theory of language acquisition.Cambridge: MA: Harvard University Press. Chapters 1, 8, 9  

Whong, M. K-H. Gil and H. Marsden. (2014). Beyond paradigm: The "what" and the "how" of classroom research. Second language research. ISSN: 0267-6583. 30(4): 551-568.

Yusa, N., M. Koizumi, J. Kim, N. Kimura, S. Uchida, S. Yokoyama, N. Miura, S. Uchida, S. Yokoyama, N. Miura, R. Kawashima and H. Hagiwara. (2011). Second-language instinct and instruction effects: nature and nurture in second-language acquisition. Journal of cognitive neuroscience. 23: 2716-2730.

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Supporting Texts

Recommended background reading:

Cook, V.J. and Newson, M. (2007) Chomsky's universal grammar : an introduction. 3rd edition. London: Blackwell.

Fromkin, V., Rodman, R. and Hyams, N. 2014. An introduction to language. London: Thomson Heinle (see pdf in Learning Resources, Online Course Readings folder).

Halliday, M.A.K. 2004. An introduction to functional grammar. 3rd edition. London: Edward Arnold.

Lightbown, P. and Spada. N. 2013. How Languages are learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lust, B. and Foley, C. (eds) 2004. First language acquisition : the essential readings ISBN: 0631232559 (pbk : alk. paper); 0631232540 (hbk : alk. paper). Oxford: Blackwell.

Mitchell, R. and Myles, F. 2004. Second Language Learning Theories. London: Routledge.

Pinker, S. 1994. The Language Instinct. New York: Harper.

Wright, C., Piske, T. and Young-Scholten, M. 2018. Mind matters in SLA ISBN: 9781788921602 (pbk : alk. paper); 9781788921619 (hbk : alk. paper); 9781788921640 (kindle). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Further Texts for classwork or assignments:

Berwick, R. C., P. Pietroski, B. Yankama, N. Chomsky (2011) Poverty of the Stimulus Revisited. Cognitive science. 35: 1207-1242. 

Berko (1958) The child’s learning of English morphology. Word. 14:150-77.

Boers, F. (2000), ‘Metaphor awareness and vocabulary retention’, Applied linguistics., 21: 553-71.

Boers, F. (2001), ‘Remembering figurative idioms by hypothesising about their origin’, Prospect 16: 35-43.

Brown, R. (1973), A first language : the early stages, London: George Allen & Unwin.

Butler, C. (2003), Structure and function : a guide to three major structural functional theories, Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Chomsky, N. (1965), Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Chomsky, N. (2007).  Of mind and language. Biolinguistics. 1, 9-27. Available online

Clark, E. (1982) The young word maker: A case study of innovation in the child’s lexicon. In B. Lust & C. Foley (eds.) First language acquisition : the essential readings . p. 396-422.  Also published in: E. Wanner & L. Gleitman (1982) Language acquisition : the state of the art CUP. pp. 390-418. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

Croft, W. and A. Cruise (2004), Cognitive linguistics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Curtiss, S. (1981) Dissociations between language and cognition: Cases and Implications. Journal of autism and developmental disorders.. 11: 15-30.

Evans, V. and M. Green (2006), Cognitive linguistics, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Fawcett, R. P. (2000) Theory of syntax for systemic functional linguistics, Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Fillmore, C. (1988), ‘The mechanisms of 'Construction Grammar', Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 14: 35-55. - Available online:

Fodor, J. (1983), The modularity of mind : an essay on faculty psychology, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Goldberg, A. (2006), Constructions at work : the nature of generalization in language, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

(Halliday, M.A.K. (1985), An introduction to functional grammar, London: Edward Arnold.)

Halliday, M.A.K. (2004), An introduction to functional grammar, 3rd edn, London: Edward Arnold.

Halliday, M.A.K. & Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen. 2006. Construing experience through meaning : a language-based approach to cognition London: Continuum.

Haspelmath, M. (2006), ‘Against markedness (and what to replace it with)’, Journal of Linguistics., 42: 25-70.

Ingram, J. (2007), Neurolinguistics : an introduction to spoken language processing and its disorders, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ingram, D. (1989), First language acquisition : method, description and exploration, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jackendoff, R. (2007) Language, consciousness, culture : essays on mental structure MIT Press.

Koster, J. (2013) Theories of language from a critical perspective. In J. Herschensohn and M. Young-Scholten (eds.) The Cambridge handbook of second language acquisition Cambidge: CUP. pp.9 – 25.  

Labov, W. (1973), ‘The boundaries of words and their meaning’, in C.-J. N. Bailey and R. Shuy (eds) New ways of analyzing variation in English, Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, pp. 340-73. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

Lakoff, G. (1987), Women, fire, and dangerous things : what categories reveal about the mind, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Langacker, R. (1987), Foundations of cognitive grammar, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Lenneberg, E. (1967)  Biological foundations of language, New York: Wiley.

MacWhinney, B. (ed.) (1999)  The Emergence of language. Mahway, NJ: Laurence Erlbaum.

Martin, J.R., Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen & C. Painter. (1997). Working with functional grammar. London: Edward Arnold.

Newmeyer, F. (1998)  Language form and language function, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Newmeyer, F. (2005) Possible and probable languages : a generative perspective on linguistic typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Newmeyer, F. (2010) Formalism and functionalism in linguistics. Cognitive science. ISSN: 0364-0213; 1551-6709 1: 301-307

Pinker, S. & Jackendoff, R. (2005) The faculty of language: what's special about it? Cognition., 95: 201-236.

Rosch, E. (1973), ‘Natural categories’, Cognitive Psychology., 4, 328-50.

Rosch, E. (1975), ‘Cognitive Reference Points’, Cognitive Psychology., 7, 532-547.

Smith, N.  & Tsimpli, I. (1995) The mind of a savant : language-learning and modularity. Oxford : Blackwell.

Song, Jae Jung (2001) Linguistic typology : morphology and syntax ISBN: 0582312213 (pbk.); 0582312205. Harlow: Longman.

Snyder, W. (2001) On the nature of syntactic variation: Evidence from complex predicates and complex word-formation. Language. 77: 324-342.

Snyder, W. (2007), Child language : the parametric approach, New York: Oxford University Press.

This list was last updated on 27/09/2019