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Age of acquisition – not bilingualism – is the primary determinant of less than nativelike L2 ultimate attainment
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism. Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.
2021 (English)In: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, ISSN 1366-7289, E-ISSN 1469-1841, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 18-30Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It has recently been suggested that bilingualism, rather than age of acquisition, is what underlies less than nativelike attainment in childhood L2 acquisition. Currently, however, the empirical evidence in favor of or against this interpretation remains scarce. The present study sets out to fill this gap, implementing a novel factorial design in which the variables age of acquisition and bilingualism have been fully crossed. Eighty speakers of Swedish, who were either L1 monolinguals, L1 simultaneous bilinguals, L2 sequential monolinguals (international adoptees), or L2 sequential bilinguals (childhood immigrants), were tested on phonetic, grammatical, and lexical measures. The results indicate consistent effects of age of acquisition, but only limited effects of bilingualism, on ultimate attainment. These findings thus show that age of acquisition – not bilingualism – is the primary determinant of L2 ultimate attainment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021. Vol. 24, no 1, p. 18-30
Keywords [en]
critical period hypothesis, ultimate attainment, bilingualism effects, international adoptees, simultaneous bilingualism
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Bilingualism
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-188054DOI: 10.1017/S1366728920000188ISI: 000600600100002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-188054DiVA, id: diva2:1512192
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, M2005-0459Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, SAB16-0051:1Available from: 2020-12-21 Created: 2020-12-22 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved

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Bylund, EmanuelHyltenstam, KennethAbrahamsson, Niclas

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