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Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism

image of Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism
ISSN 1879-9264
E-ISSN 1879-9272

<em>LAB</em> provides an outlet for cutting-edge, contemporary studies on bilingualism. <em>LAB</em> assumes a broad definition of bilingualism, including: adult L2 acquisition, simultaneous child bilingualism, child L2 acquisition, adult heritage speaker competence, L1 attrition in L2/Ln environments, and adult L3/Ln acquisition. <em>LAB</em> solicits high quality articles of original research assuming any cognitive science approach to understanding the mental representation of bilingual language competence and performance, including cognitive linguistics, emergentism/connectionism, generative theories, psycholinguistic and processing accounts, and covering typical and atypical populations.


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  • Pinning down the concept of “interface” in bilingualism
    • Author: Antonella Sorace
    • Source: Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2011, pages: 1 –33
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    • The ‘Interface Hypothesis’ (IH) was put forward by Sorace and colleagues as an attempt to account for patterns of non-convergence and residual optionality found at very advanced stages of adult second (L2)acquisition. The IH originally proposed that language structures involving an interface between syntax and other cognitive domains are less likely to be acquired completely than structures that do not involve this interface. At the same time, the IH was extended to bilingual first language (L1) acquisition and to the very early stages of L1 attrition, which exhibit optionality in precisely the same structures: this provides a unifying framework for the study of bilingual language development. This paper selectively reviews the research on the IH, addressing some common misinterpretations and outlining the most recent interdisciplinary developments.
  • Individual differences in child English second language acquisition: Comparing child-internal and child-external factors
    • Author: Johanne Paradis
    • Source: Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, Volume 1, Issue 3, 2011, pages: 213 –237
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    • This study investigated how various child-internal and child-external factors predict English L2 children’s acquisition outcomes for vocabulary size and accuracy with verb morphology. The children who participated (N=169) were between 4;10 and 7;0 years old (mean = 5;10), had between 3 to 62 months of exposure to English (mean = 20 months), and were from newcomer families to Canada. Results showed that factors such as language aptitude (phonological short term memory and analytic reasoning), age, L1 typology, length of exposure to English, and richness of the child’s English environment were significant predictors of variation in children’s L2 outcomes. However, on balance, child-internal factors explained more of the variance in outcomes than child-external factors. Relevance of these findings for Usage-Based theory of language acquisition is discussed.
  • Differential effects of internal and external factors on the development of vocabulary, tense morphology and morpho-syntax in successive bilingual children
    • Authors: Vasiliki Chondrogianni, and Theodoros Marinis
    • Source: Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, Volume 1, Issue 3, 2011, pages: 318 –345
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    • The present study investigates the effects of child internal (age/time) and child external/environmental factors on the development of a wide range of language domains in successive bilingual (L2) Turkish-English children of homogeneously low SES. Forty-three L2 children were tested on standardized assessments examining the acquisition of vocabulary and morpho-syntax. The L2 children exhibited a differential acquisition of the various domains: they were better on the general comprehension of grammar and tense morphology and less accurate on the acquisition of vocabulary and (complex) morpho-syntax. Profile effects were confirmed by the differential effects of internal and external factors on the language domains. The development of vocabulary and complex syntax were affected by internal and external factors, whereas external factors had no contribution to the development of tense morphology. These results are discussed in light of previous studies on the impact of internal and external factors in child L2 acquisition.
  • What’s so incomplete about incomplete acquisition?: A prolegomenon to modeling heritage language grammars
    • Authors: Michael T. Putnam, and Liliana Sánchez
    • Source: Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, Volume 3, Issue 4, 2013, pages: 478 –508
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    • Modeling the competence grammar of heritage speakers who exhibit low proficiency in their L1 represents a significant challenge for generative and experimental approaches to bilingual linguistic research. In this paper we revisit the core tenets of the incomplete acquisition hypothesis as developed in recent scholarship (in particular by Montrul (2002 et seq.) and Polinsky (1997, 2006)). Although we adopt many of these fundamental aspects of this research program, in this article we develop an alternative model that provides a more accurate depiction of the process that leads to what these scholars describe as the (later) effects of incomplete acquisition, thus improving the predictive power of this research program.
  • Different speakers, different grammars: Individual differences in native language attainment
    • Author: Ewa Dąbrowska
    • Source: Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, Volume 2, Issue 3, 2012, pages: 219 –253
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    • This article reviews several recent studies suggesting that — contrary to a widespread belief — adult monolingual native speakers of the same language do not share the same mental grammar. The studies examined various aspects of linguistic knowledge, including inflectional morphology, passives, quantifiers, and more complex constructions with subordinate clauses. The findings suggest that, in some cases, language learners attend to different cues in the input and end up with different grammars; in others, some speakers extract only fairly specific, ‘local’ generalizations which apply to particular subclasses of items while others acquire more abstract rules which apply ‘across the board’. At least some of these differences are education-related: more educated speakers appear to acquire more general rules, possibly as a result of more varied linguistic experience. These findings have interesting consequences for research on bilingualism, particularly for research on ultimate attainment in second language acquisition, as well as important methodological implications for all language sciences.
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