How and why do all children learn language? Why do some have difficulties while others are early language learners? What are the consequences of early bilingualism? Is it possible to reach native-like competence in a foreign language? Although we still cannot fully answer these questions, research during the last two decades has begun to solve some pieces of the puzzle. This book proposes an interdisciplinary collection of writings from some of the best specialists across several fields in cognitive science, offering a wide sample of recent advances in the study of first language acquisition, bilingualism, second language acquisition, and disorders of oral language. It is addressed to all researchers and students interested in language acquisition, as well as to teachers, clinicians and parents, who will find therein many new findings and varied methodological approaches, as well as challenging questions that are still debated and in need of further research.
1. Introduction. New perspectives in the study of first and second language acquisition: Linguistic and cognitive constraints (by Kail, Michele); 2. Part I. Emergence and dynamics of language acquisition and disorders; 3. Chapter 1. A tale of two paradigms (by MacWhinney, Brian); 4. Chapter 2. Dynamic systems methods in the study of language acquisition: Modeling and the search for trends, transitions and fluctuations (by Geert, Paul van); 5. Chapter 3. Early bootstrapping of syntactic acquisition (by Christophe, Anne); 6. Chapter 4. Language acquisition in developmental disorders (by Thomas, Michael S.C.); 7. Part II. First language acquisition: Universals and diversity; 8. Chapter 5. Language development in a cross-linguistic context (by Lieven, Elena); 9. Chapter 6. A typological approach to first language acquisition (by Dressler, Wolfgang U.); 10. Chapter 7. Linguistic relativity in first language acquisition: Spatial language and cognition (by Hickmann, Maya); 11. Chapter 8. On the importance of goals in child language: Acquisition and impairment data from Hungarian (by Pleh, Csaba); 12. Chapter 9. Promoting patients in narrative discourse: A developmental perspective (by Jisa, Harriet); 13. Chapter 10. On-line grammaticality judgments: A comparative study of French and Portuguese (by Kail, Michele); 14. Chapter 11. The expression of finiteness by L1 and L2 learners of Dutch, French, and German (by Perdue, Clive); 15. Part III. Bilingualism and second language acquisition: A multidisciplinary perspective; 16. Chapter 12. Age of onset in successive acquisition of bilingualism: Effects on grammatical development (by Meisel, Jurgen M.); 17. Chapter 13. The development of person-number verbal morphology in different types of learners (by Schlyter, Suzanne); 18. Chapter 14. Re-thinking the bilingual interactive-activation model from a developmental perspective (BIA-d) (by Grainger, Jonathan); 19. Chapter 15. Foreign language vocabulary learning: Word-type effects during the labeling stage (by Groot, Annette M.B. de); 20. Chapter 16. Cerebral imaging and individual differences in language learning (by Pallier, Christophe); 21. Chapter 17. The cognitive neuroscience of second language acquisition and bilingualism: Factors that matter in L2 acquisition - A neuro-cognitive perspective (by Reiterer, Susanne); 22. Index of languages; 23. Index of subjects