Brown, Roger

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  • Roger Brown was a major founding figure of modern studies in language development. He made central, methodological, and empirical contributions to the field. His work also featured lucid and impartial thinking about development, conveyed with unexcelled skill as a writer. He was a dominant figure in the field for two decades from the late 1950s through the mid-1970s.

    When Brown entered the study of psycholinguistics, Noam Chomsky's work in transformational grammar and his nativist arguments had not yet revolutionized the field and made acquisition its central problem. But, American psychologists had in the early 1950s discovered that American pre-Chomskyan structural linguists, though thinking of themselves as methodological behaviorists, in fact produced analyses that entailed the use of general abstract categories like noun, noun phrase, and embedded ...

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