Language Development: An Introduction, 10th edition

Published by Pearson (April 19, 2019) © 2020

  • Robert E. Owens College of St. Rose


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For courses in language development.

A best-selling, comprehensive, easy-to-understand introduction to language development

Language Development offers a cohesive, easy-to-understand overview of all aspects of language development, including syntax, morphology, semantics, phonology and pragmatics. Each idea and concept is explained in a way that is clear to even beginning students and then reinforced with outstanding pedagogical aids such as discussion questions, chapter objectives, reflections and main point boxed features.

The 10th Edition keeps readers up to date on major topics in the field and the challenges that teachers face in today's diverse classrooms.

Hallmark features of this title

A best-selling, comprehensive, easy-to-understand introduction to language development

  • The most widely used text in the field, this bestseller is appreciated for its cohesive, practical presentation of all aspects of language development.
  • The easy-to-understand writing style resonates with beginning students, helping them better understand important topics without sacrificing academic rigor.
  • Outstanding pedagogical aids (including chapter objectives, conclusions, discussion questions, and main point features) help students learn concepts, retain information, and think critically about each chapter's content.

New and updated features of this title

Coverage of the issues teachers face in today's diverse classrooms

  • UPDATED: Consolidated information on bilingual research is now included in Chapter 8 to make the discussion more coherent and reflect the increase in bilingualism in the US.
  • UPDATED: A completely rewritten section on working memory reflects new research on this topic and its importance for language use (Ch. 3).
  • UPDATED: Updated research includes approximately 250 new references to keep readers up to date with recent findings.
  • UPDATED: An enhanced discussion of the importance of play shows readers how play affects the development of language. Improved readability is accomplished with more thorough explanations and clarifications and/or simplification of terms.
  • UPDATED: The discussion of reading comprehension is streamlined to make it easier for students to understand (Ch. 11).
  • UPDATED: Chapter 2 is shorter and reconceptualized to include practical learning theories. Numerous real-world child language examples give readers a practical, applied introduction to the world of language development. Additional examples better illustrate language structures. (Chs. 7 to 12).
  1. The Territory
  2. Describing Language
  3. Neurological Bases of Speech and Language
  4. Cognitive, Perceptual and Motor Bases of Early Language and Speech
  5. The Social and Communicative Bases of Early Language and Speech
  6. Language-Learning and Teaching Processes and Young Children
  7. First Words and Word Combinations in Toddler Talk
  8. Preschool Pragmatic and Semantic Development
  9. Preschool Development of Language Form
  10. Early School-Age Language Development
  11. School-Age Literacy Development
  12. Adolescent and Adult Language


  1. American English Speech Sounds
  2. Major Racial and Ethnic Dialects of American English
  3. Development Summary
  4. Computing MLU
  5. Background Grammar
  6. Glossary


    Author Index

    Subject Index

About our author

Robert E. Owens, Jr., (“Dr. Bob”), PhD, is a New York State Distinguished Teaching Professor and Professor of Communication Disorders and Sciences at the College of St. Rose where he teaches courses in language development and language disorders. In 2016 he received the Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. He is the author of: Language Development, An Introduction (8 editions); Language Disorders, A Functional Approach (6 editions); Program for the Acquisition of Language with the Severely Impaired (PALS); Help Your Baby Talk, Introducing the New Shared Communication Method and Queer Kids, The Challenge & Promise for Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Youth.

His Language Development text is the most widely used in the world and has been translated into Spanish, Korean and Arabic. He has also co-authored Introduction to Communication Disorders, A Life Span Perspective (5 editions), written a score of book chapters and professional articles and authored 2 as-yet unpublished novels which are sure to win a posthumous Pulitzer Prize. Dr. Owens is coauthor with Stacey Pavelko, PhD, of SUGAR, an easy, free, valid language sampling tool. In love with the sound of his own voice, Dr. Bob has presented over 225 professional papers and workshops around the globe. His professional interests are language disorders in infants, toddlers and preschoolers who are also some of his best friends. And he's a gran'pa!

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