The Development of Language - TENTH EDITION

SKU: P920
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Jean Berko Gleason, Nan Bernstein Ratner

Details: 444 pages, Full Color, Softcover, 8.5" x 11"
ISBN13: 978-1-63550-426-2
Publication Date: 31/1/2023


This classic text now in its tenth edition, The Development of Language continues its focus on language acquisition in an unbiased, authoritative, and comprehensive way. Written by leading experts known for their research in the areas they discuss, this book has a multidisciplinary approach, and demonstrates the relevance of typical language development to speech-language pathologists, educators, clinicians, and those in other professions. Topics include the roots of language learning in infancy, phonology, syntax/grammar, word learning, bilingualism, pragmatics, literacy, atypical language development, and more.

This book provides the reader with an authoritative text that includes important and useful concepts and research findings. Emphasis is placed on language development in children who are learning languages other than, or in addition to, English, as well as children with risk factors for language delay or disorder. The text leads the reader through every stage of development—the early months before children begin to speak, the preschool and school years, and adolescence as children achieve mastery of adult-like language skills.

Key Features

  • Chapter pedagogy includes learning objectives, visual aids, video links, summaries, and suggested projects to extend students’ understanding and application of text concepts
  • Key terms are highlighted in the text with definitions provided in a Glossary
  • Clear and concise writing by authors who are known for their research in the subject area and their ability to explain complex topics to a broad audience
  • A multilingual and multicultural focus on acquisition in languages other than English, on non-mainstream varieties of English and on children learning two or more languages simultaneously (bilingualism), as well as children with developmental communication disorders

New to the Tenth Edition

  • Restructure of chapters to streamline information
  • Greater in-depth coverage of concepts that are frequently more difficult for students to master 
  • Updated references to new research and the current literature 
  • References are now at the end of each chapter
  • New and updated figures and photos
  • Coverage of the latest technological advances in basic research and clinical practice in child language
  • For the full description of updates by chapter, click here


PluralPlus Online Ancillary Materials

For Instructors: PowerPoint lecture slides, videos, Instructor's Resource Manual, and test bank

For Students:  Videos and eFlashcards

Instructor test bank available on the Respondus Test Bank Network


Companion Website

Sample Pages


“I greatly enjoyed reading through the 10th edition of The Development of Language. This edition continues a strong tradition of accurate coverage of issues and findings regarding both normal and disordered child language development. Berko Gleason and Bernstein Ratner have assembled experts in each of the core facets of child language to contribute chapters reviewing our current understanding of each area.  One set of topics examines the four core dimensions of language learning: phonology (sound), semantics (meaning), grammar (syntax and morphology), and communicative competence (pragmatics and conversational abilities).  For each of these linguistic areas, the relevant chapter present a basic linguistic analysis and then the ways in which the child pieces together a growing command of each dimension.  Then there are four chapters examining issues in the variation of the course of development: dimensions of variation, social factors leading to variation, ways in which biological forces produce atypical language development, and the impact of bilingualism on language development. 
This separation of chapters provides the student with a very balanced understanding of both the standard course of language development and the ways in which it will vary.  Each of these areas is covered thoroughly in a way that makes them totally accessible to the student who is beginning to learn about these topics.  At the same time, the chapters may be useful to more advanced students and researchers as a way of reviewing the increasingly rich literature on child language, along with references and discussions of so many of the seminal studies. For example, I was struck by the fact that I had was unfamiliar with the work on the border collie who had learned the names of 1,022 objects.  What an achievement! ...”

–Brian MacWhinney, MS, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University (January 2023)