First and Second Language Acquisition

First and Second Language Acquisition : Parallels and Differences

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Infants and very young children develop almost miraculously the ability of speech, without apparent effort, without even being taught - as opposed to the teenager or the adult struggling without, it seems, ever being able to reach the same level of proficiency as five year olds in their first language. This useful textbook serves as a guide to different types of language acquisition: monolingual and bilingual first language development and child and adult second language acquisition. Unlike other books, it systematically compares first and second language acquisition, drawing on data from several languages. Research questions and findings from various subfields are helpfully summarized to show students how they are related and how they often complement each other. The essential guide to studying first and second language acquisition, it will be used on courses in linguistics, modern languages and developmental psychology.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text | 320 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 3 b/w illus. 9 tables
  • 1139118161
  • 9781139118163

Table of contents

1. The quest for the LAD; 2. First language development - Universal Grammar as the centerpiece of the human language making capacity; 3. Obvious (observable) similarities and differences between first and second language acquisition - developmental sequences; 4. The initial state and beyond; 5. Developing grammatical knowledge - parameter setting and inductive learning; 6. Neural maturation and age - opening and closing windows of opportunities; 7. A (tentative) theory of language acquisition - L1, 2L1, and L2.
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Review quote

'... an excellent textbook on similarities and differences between first and second language acquisition, but also an insightful and provocative synthesis of research on this topic.' Fred Genesee, McGill University
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About Jurgen M. Meisel

Jurgen M. Meisel is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics in the Department of Romance Languages and a member and former Chair (1999-2006) of the Research Center on Bilingualism at the University of Hamburg. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Distinguished Fellow in the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Calgary. He is one of the founding editors and current co-editor of the journal Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, published by Cambridge University Press.
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Rating details

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