Infant Language Learning
Infant language learning refers to how young children (0–2 years) acquire knowledge about what sounds are in their language, how they learn where words begin and end in fluent speech and that words map on to referents in their environment, and how vocabulary (expressive and receptive) and sensitivity to syntactic forms (word order/sentence structure) is acquired.
There are a number of accounts of infant language learning that differ in terms of their emphasis on endogenous mechanisms, environmental influences, or a combination.
The notion that infants possess learning mechanisms that have evolved for language acquisition is the core of the domain-specific view of language learning held by nativists. Nativists argue that infants are born with a language-specific learning device whereby aspects of the formal structure of language are...