ERIC Number: ED436980
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Second Language Acquisition and the Critical Period Hypothesis. Second Language Acquisition Research: Theoretical and Methodological Issues.
Birdsong, David, Ed.
This book considers the question of whether, or to what extent, a critical period limits the acquisition of a first language as well as a second language acquired postpubertally. The diversity of opinion on this question is represented in this volume. It is a question that has been approached by researchers working in linguistic theory, evolution theory, language processing, and neurophysiology. The critical period hypothesis for second language acquisition (CPH-L2A) has spawned an abundance of data, ranging from grammaticality judgments to speech samples to event-related brain potentials. These data have lent themselves to interpretation in many ways ranging from theories consistent with theories of access (or lack of access) to universal grammar; as suggesting post-maturational age effects and cross-linguistic (transfer) effects; and as evidence for the tremendous diversity of learner outcomes, ranging from little progress to native-like mastery. Chapters in this volume include a mix of theory, evidence, and cautious argumentation. Contributors are equally divided between the pro-CPH-L2A and anti-CPH-L2A positions. Chapter titles are: (1) "Whys and Why Nots of the CPH-L2A" (David Birdsong); (2) "Functional Neural Subsystems Are Differentially Affected By Delays in Second Language Immersion: ERP and Behavioral Evidence in Bilinguals" (Christine M. Weber-Fox and Helen J. Neville); (3) "Co-Evolution of Language Size and the Critical Period" (James R. Hurford and Simon Kirby); (4) "Critical Periods and (Second) Language Acquisition: Divide et Impera" (Lynn Eubank and Kevin R. Gregg); (5) "Age of Learning and Second Language Speech" (James E. Flege); (6) "Ultimate Attainment in L2 Pronunciation: The Case of Very Advanced Late L2 Learners" (Theo Bongaerts); (7) "Confounded Age: Linguistic and Cognitive Factors in Age Differences for Second Language Acquisition" (Ellen Bialystok and Kenji Hakuta). Extensive references and a subject and author index are included. (KFT)
Descriptors: Age, Age Differences, Bilingualism, Cognitive Processes, Developmental Stages, Language Acquisition, Language Processing, Language Research, Linguistic Theory, Pronunciation, Second Language Learning, Speech Communication
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 10 Industrial Avenue, Mahwah, NJ 07430 ($45). Tel: 201-236-9500.
Publication Type: Books; Collected Works - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A