Acquiring Linguistic Constructions

Cognition, Perception, and Language

2. Cognition and Communication

  1. Michael Tomasello

Published Online: 1 JUN 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470147658.chpsy0206

Handbook of Child Psychology

Handbook of Child Psychology

How to Cite

Tomasello, M. 2007. Acquiring Linguistic Constructions. Handbook of Child Psychology. II:2:6.

Author Information

  1. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUN 2007


This chapter is about how young children master the use of a language, with a focus on grammatical constructions. Major theories of language acquisition are presented, along with the basic facts of language development, from childrens' acquisition of simple grammatical constructions to complex constructions and discourse. Also covered are the language children hear, the acquisition of morphology, individual differences, and atypical development.


  • analogy;
  • constructions;
  • distribution learning;
  • grammar;
  • language acquisition;
  • learning