The Many Faces of Imitation in Language Learning

  • Gisela E. Speidel
  • Keith E. Nelson

Part of the Springer Series in Language and Communication book series (SSLAN, volume 24)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Gisela E. Speidel, Keith E. Nelson
    Pages 1-21
  3. Catherine E. Snow
    Pages 73-90
  4. Ina Č. Užgiris, Susan Broome, Jan C. Kruper
    Pages 91-120
  5. Gisela E. Speidel
    Pages 151-179
  6. Gisela E. Speidel, Madeleen J. Herreshoff
    Pages 181-197
  7. Roland G. Tharp, Caleb E. S. Burns
    Pages 231-250
  8. Ernst L. Moerk
    Pages 277-303
  9. Keith E. Nelson, Mikael Heimann, Lutfi Abuelhaija, Roberta Wroblewski
    Pages 305-323
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 325-343

About this book


In this book we take a fresh look at imitation. With the knowledge of some 20 years of research after Chomsky's initial critique of the behavioristic approach to language learning, it is time to explore imitation once again. How imitation is viewed in this book has changed greatly since the 1950s and can only be under­ stood by reading the various contributions. This reading reveals many faces, many forms, many causes, and many functions of imitation-cognitive, social, information processing, learning, and biological. Some views are far removed from the notion that an imitation must occur immediately or that it must be a per­ fect copy of an adult sentence. But the essence of the concept of imitation is retained: Some of the child's language behavior originates as an imitation of a prior model. The range of phenomena covered is broad and stimulating. Imitation's role is discussed from infancy on through all stages of language learning. Individual differences among children are examined in how much they use imitation, and in what forms and to what purposes they use it. The forms and functions of parent imitation of their child are considered. Second-language learning is studied alongside first-language learning. The juxtaposition of so many views and facets of imitation in this book will help us to study the commonalities as well as differences of various forms and functions of imitative language and will help us to discern the further dimensions along which we must begin to differentiate imitation.


Motivation Priming attention child children frequency information interaction language language acquisition language development learning memory planning research

Editors and affiliations

  • Gisela E. Speidel
    • 1
  • Keith E. Nelson
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Development of Early EducationHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York 1989
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4612-6983-0
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4612-1011-5
  • Series Print ISSN 0172-620X
  • Buy this book on publisher's site