... this book is likely to have a profound impact on the field of child language.(Anne Bezuidenhout Metapsychology Online Review)
This is a tremendously important book. It provides a new theoretical perspective on language learning, consolidating and making sense of a wealth of new research findings.(Susan A. Gelman, University of Michigan)
In lucid prose that will be accessible even to beginners, Paul Bloom weaves together everything that is known about word-learning--from when it starts to how it depends on a child's understanding of the world--into a sophisticated, nuanced tapestry that will dazzle researchers. What is particularly impressive about the book is that Bloom manages to steer between the extremes of nativism and empiricism that have too often stifled progress in our field. Neither committed blindly to nativism nor to its opposite, Bloom accepts nativism where it is needed, and rejects it where it is not. A tour de force.(Gary F. Marcus, Associate Professor of Psychology, New York University)
This elegant book is ostensibly on how children learn words, and indeed, Bloom has many original and surprising things to say on this matter. But the book is much, much more-- a tour de force romp through topics ranging from children's understanding of art to their understanding of number, from their understanding of bodies to their understanding of souls. It's a great read. Anybody concerned with langauge, cognition, or development will find much of interest here.(Susan Carey, Department of Psychology, New York University)
Paul Bloom offers us an intriguing account of how children grasp meaning, how this process is linked to their gorwing appreciation of how other people think, and how they convey their views and intentions in communication. The story he tells here is clear, engaging, and well-documented, with a pleasant absence of contention and polemic. He provides an excellent accounting of where we are now, and points to the many questions that remain to be answered. This book is an excellent introduction to this aspect of language acquisition.(Eve V. Clark, Professor of Linguistics & Symbolic Systems, Stanford University)
About the Author
Paul Bloom is Professor of Psychology at Yale University.