Perspectives on second language acquisition at different ages

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Empirical studies addressing the age factor in second language acquisition have mainly been concerned with a comparison of end state data (from learners before and after the closure of a putative Critical Period for language acquisition) to the native speaker norm. Based on longitudinal corpus data, this paper investigates the affect of age on end state, rate and the process of acquisition and addresses the question of whether different grammatical domains are equally affected. To this end, the paper presents summarized findings from the acquisition of word order and inflectional morphology in L2 German by Russian learners of different ages and discusses theoretical implications that can be drawn from this evidence.


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