While the issues are mainly familiar ones, the 17 chapters contribute to the advancement of child language study in several specific ways. They:
* represent current theoretical frameworks, both bringing the insights of the theories to the interpretation of language development and testing tenets or implications of the theories with child language data;
* contribute substantively to the crosslinguistic study of child language, reflecting both the linguistic diversity of the authors themselves and a recent major shift in the approach to child language study;
* build on the now considerable body of knowledge about children's language, both adding to information about the basic systems of phonology, syntax, and semantics, and extending beyond to explore aspects of narrative and literacy development, language acquisition by bilingual and atypical children, and language processing; and
* contain hints of new directions in child language study, such as increased attention to the impact of phonology on other language systems.
Taken as a whole, this volume reflects the current strength of crosslinguistic research, the application and testing of new theoretical developments, a new legitimacy of language disorder data, and a new appeal to the descriptive possibilities of language processing models. In addition, there is a theme that runs through many of the chapters and points the way for important research in the future: the role of prosody in the acquisition of various language structures and systems.
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