Referring to entities is one of the key functions of language; learning to understand and use the relevant referential expressions is one of children's major linguistic achievements. The 13 chapters of this volume bring together a wealth of information on the acquisition of referential processes in infants, pre-schoolers and school-age children drawing on data from more than 25 languages ranging from Italian to Inuktitut, and from Norwegian to Turkish. This book presents the state-of-the-art of corpus and experimental research on the acquisition of reference. The breadth of aspects of referential acquisition will make the volume appealing to a wide audience of researchers, including linguists and psycholinguists working on phonological, morpho-syntactic, and discourse-pragmatic aspects of language development. The cross-linguistic perspective adopted by several of the contributors will be of particular interest to researchers investigating the relevance of typological differences. The state-of-the-art approach makes the research accessible to specialist and non-specialist researchers alike, and will provide an invaluable resource for graduate-level courses.
1. Introduction: An overview of the acquisition of reference (by Serratrice, Ludovica); 2. The acquisition of nominal determiners: Evidence from cross-linguistic approaches (by Bassano, Dominique); 3. Mapping information structure and word order: The acquisition of object placement (by Bentzen, Kristine); 4. Children' use of intonation in reference and the role of input (by Chen, Aoju); 5. The role of gesture in referential communication: A developmental perspective (by Ng, Melvin Mai-Rong); 6. The role of cognitive accessibility in children's referential choice (by Allen, Shanley E.M.); 7. Acquisition and use of pronouns in a dialogic perspective (by Salazar Orvig, Anne); 8. From early to late mastery of reference: Multifunctionality and linguistic diversity (by Hickmann, Maya); 9. Online evidence for children's interpretation of personal pronouns (by Sekerina, Irina A.); 10. Children's sensitivity to caregiver cues and the role of adult feedback in the developmentof referential communication (by Ates-Sen, A. Beyza); 11. The cognitive underpinnings of referential abilities (by De Cat, Cecile); 12. Production and comprehension of pronouns and reflexives in atypical populations (by Chondrogianni, Vicky); 13. Referential expressions in bilingual acquisition (by Serratrice, Ludovica); 14. Language index; 15. Subject index