Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-4k54s Total loading time: 0.19 Render date: 2021-12-02T06:50:13.794Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Preface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2009

Julia Herschensohn
Affiliation:
University of Washington
Get access

Summary

The notion of a critical period for acquisition of first and subsequent languages is the topic of this book, which investigates the following questions:

  1. What is the evidence for a critical period for language acquisition?

  2. Is there a critical period for first language acquisition?

  3. Is there a critical period for subsequent language acquisition?

These questions raise corollary issues concerning the nature of language acquisition, variables that drive and constrain it, and the role of biological maturation. The book demonstrates that first language (L1) is in large part susceptible to age constraints, whereas second language (L2) – a term conventionally referring to any language learned after the first – is only indirectly so affected. Evidence from L1 shows a clear effect of age on acquisition, for language is not thoroughly acquired if age of onset passes seven years, and it is acquired with major deficits if age of onset passes twelve. Evidence from L2 acquisition also shows effects of age of onset, but the range of variation due to individual and socio-motivational differences prohibits a strict definition of a sensitive period for L2. Indeed, the L2 competence of expert adult learners, the unequal achievements of child L2 learners, variation of L2 endstate for learners with different L1 and the lack of consistent empirical evidence for a maturational cutoff, all cast doubt on a critical period for second language acquisition (L2A).

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Preface
  • Julia Herschensohn, University of Washington
  • Book: Language Development and Age
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511486487.001
Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

  • Preface
  • Julia Herschensohn, University of Washington
  • Book: Language Development and Age
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511486487.001
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Preface
  • Julia Herschensohn, University of Washington
  • Book: Language Development and Age
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511486487.001
Available formats
×