Melissa Bowerman (April 3, 1942 – October 31, 2011) was a leading researcher in the area of language acquisition. She was a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
Within the field of language acquisition, she specialized in the relationships between language and cognition, language and spatial representation, and language and event representation. Recurrent themes in her work included the relationship between conceptual development and language development, the use of cross-linguistic comparisons to disentangle what is universal and possibly innate from what is learned, the nature of children's early linguistic rules, and the potential of information about language acquisition to help decide among alternative theoretical approaches to language structure.
- Bowerman, Melissa. 1973. Early syntactic development: a cross-linguistic study with special reference to Finnish. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Choi, S., Bowerman, M., Learning to express motion events in English and Korean: The influence of language-specific lexicalization patterns, (1991) Cognition, 41 (1-3), pp. 83–121
- Majid, A., Bowerman, M., Kita, S., Haun, D.B.M., Levinson, S.C., Can language restructure cognition? The case for space, (2004) Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8 (3), pp. 108–114.
- Choi, S., McDonough, L., Bowerman, M., Mandler, J.M., Early Sensitivity to Language-Specific Spatial Categories in English and Korean, (1999) Cognitive Development, 14 (2), pp. 241–268.
- Bowerman, Melissa, and Stephen C. Levinson, eds. 2001. Language Acquisition and Conceptual Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Majid, A., Bowerman, M., Van Staden, M., Boster, J.S., The semantic categories of cutting and breaking events: A crosslinguistic perspective, (2007) Cognitive Linguistics, 18 (2), pp. 133–152.
- Bowerman, Melissa, and Penelope Brown, eds. 2008. ;;Crosslinguistic Perspectives on Argument Structure.;; New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
- Curriculum Vitae at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
- Melissa Bowerman's Homepage
- LINGUIST list obituary
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