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Linguistics: Psycholinguistics: The Acquisition and Attrition of English as a First Language

Course 2010-2011

Admission Requirements

Linguistics 5: Syntax or a similar course.


First language acquisition proceeds in a fixed fashion: from babbling to phonological systems; from the one-word stage to the sentence stage. Gradually, first language learners acquire the separate components of their grammar. Lexical knowledge, for instance, proceeds independently from syntactic knowledge. Generative theory posits modules for each subcomponent of language. These modules, then, are acquired separately. But they can also be lost separately. In the second half of the course we will look at dysfunctional language, and see that this, too, can be described in the modular fashion.

Course Objectives

Students comprehend and are able to evaluate the generative concept of the Language Acquisition Device and the generative model of grammar.


The timetable will be available from July 1 onwards on the Department website.

Mode of Instruction

Two-hour seminar per week.


  • Oral presentation (30%)
  • Written paper (70%)

An additional written paper may be submitted for a 5 ECTS extension.


This course is supported by Blackboard.

Reading list

To be announced.


Students can register through uSis.

Contact information

English Department, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103c. Phone: 071 527 2144, or mail: