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Language Structure and Meaning

Words and sentences have parts that combine in patterns, exhibiting the grammar of the language. Phonology is the study of patterns in sound or gesture. Syntax and Semantics involve studying patterns in sentence structure, from the vantages of form and meaning, respectively. The shared aim is a general theory of human grammars, one that allows us to understand speakers' ability to use language and the rapid development of language in every normal child. 
Researchers at Maryland practice these disciplines using a variety of methods: description of particular languages, formal characterization of grammars in general, measurement of behavior or neural activity in the use of language, experimental interactions with young children who are acquiring their language, and computational modeling of language use and acquisition.