From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootstrapping_(linguistics) In psycholinguistics, bootstrapping refers to the question of how language acquisition "gets started." A child gradually acquires a great deal of interlocking knowledge about the structure and vocabulary of his or her language. It has sometimes been proposed that some specific type of linguistic knowledge can be acquired early, and that this enables the child to analyze words or sentences well enough to acquire further knowledge from them. Metaphorically, this early knowledge would serve as bootstraps by which the child pulls himself or herself up. Syntactic bootstrapping proposes that syntax comes that children use syntactic knowledge they have developed to help learn what words mean. That is, semantics builds on top of syntax. Evidence for this theory was first proposed by Roger Brown in 1957 and this theory was later named Syntactic bootstrapping. This ..