In this commentary, we consider three good ideas from Verbal Behavior that have become central to some recent cognitive theories of language learning and use: social contingencies, multiple causality, and piecemeal syntactic growth. Following this, we identify two weaknesses of the book that may still invite new avenues of application of a behavioral framework to language: comprehension precedes production, and the vast complexity of syntax in normal usage. We end by briefly considering how behavioral, cognitive, and other frameworks should seek ways to integrate in an attempt to tackle the daunting complexity of language behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology