The course shall present Hungarian child language data of theoretical and practical relevance for linguists, students of Hungarian studies, and psychologists who are interested in comparative child language research. The course does not suppose knowledge of Hungarian.
First, a theoretical motivation would be given for studying child language over different languages, both from the point of view of generative grammar, learning theory based models of development, and language pathology. This will be followed by presentation of descriptive, observational data on the unfolding of sound structure, sentence patterns, and the lexicon in early Hungarian child language. Some structures specifically relevant for the language-thought interface will be highlighted such as spatial language in Hungarian.
Detailed experimental data will be presented on the grammatical and semantic cues to sentence understanding in Hungarian. Some bilingual studies will be presented, and the effects of bilingualism on linguistic, cognitive, and social development.
Regarding impaired language, three types of impaired populations and studies on their development of Hungarian language will be analyzed. Williams syndrome this rare genetic disorder with severe breakdown of spatial cognition will be used to present data on the interactions of language and cognition in development. SLI, Specific Language Impairment data will be used to highlight the relevance of crosslinguistic comparisons in deciding among rivaling models of this frequent impairment. Finally, data on dyslexic children will be presented to analyze relations between language development and the brain.
Requirements: Students shall be required to write a paper of 10 pages, reviewing the literature of a specific well studied aspect of the development of Hungarian and present it in class.
Texts: A reading pack compiling Hungarian child language studies written in English will be provided.