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Why all counter-evidence to the critical period hypothesis in second language acquisition is not equal or problematic

Rothman, J. (2008) Why all counter-evidence to the critical period hypothesis in second language acquisition is not equal or problematic. Language and Linguistic Compass, 2 (6). pp. 1063-1088. ISSN 1749-818X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-818X.2008.00098.x

Abstract/Summary

That adult and child language acquisitions differ in route and outcome is observable. Notwithstanding, there is controversy as to what this observation means for the Critical Period Hypothesis’ (CPH) application to adult second language acquisition (SLA). As most versions of the CPH applied to SLA claim that differences result from maturational effects on in-born linguistic mechanisms, the CPH has many implications that are amendable to empirical investigation. To date, there is no shortage of literature claiming that the CPH applies or does not apply to normal adult SLA. Herein, I provide an epistemological discussion on the conceptual usefulness of the CPH in SLA (cf. Singleton 2005) coupled with a review of Long's (2005) evaluation of much available relevant research. Crucially, I review studies that Long did not consider and conclude differently that there is no critical/sensitive period for L2 syntactic and semantic acquisition.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:33086
Publisher:Wiley

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