Names for Things: A Study in Human Learning

The book is concerned with the child's acquisition of names (by which is meant words that refer to objects - including proper names, common nouns in some uses, and pronouns in some uses). Four chapters in the book's first section, Matters Mainly Psychological, describe empirical observations that explore how a child copes with the fact that many different name-like words can be applied to a single object. A second major section, Matters Mainly Linguistic, contains chapters on phonology, the learning of grammatical categories, the definite and indefinite articles, and the plural. A third section, Matters Mainly Philosophical, focuses entirely on the complex issues of reference and meaning. A final chapter reflects on the implications of the book for developmental psychology. An MIT Press/Bradford Book.