Selective effects of age of acquisition on morphological priming

  • Is there an ideal time window for language acquisition after which nativelike representation and processing are unattainable? Although this question has been heavily debated, no consensus has been reached. Here, we present evidence for a sensitive period in language development and show that it is specific to grammar. We conducted a masked priming task with a group of Turkish-German bilinguals and examined age of acquisition (AoA) effects on the processing of complex words. We compared a subtle but meaningful linguistic contrast, that between grammatical inflection and lexical-based derivation. The results showed a highly selective AoA effect on inflectional (but not derivational) priming. In addition, the effect displayed a discontinuity indicative of a sensitive period: Priming from inflected forms was nativelike when acquisition started before the age of 5 but declined with increasing AoA. We conclude that the acquisition of morphological rules expressing morphosyntactic properties is constrained by maturationalIs there an ideal time window for language acquisition after which nativelike representation and processing are unattainable? Although this question has been heavily debated, no consensus has been reached. Here, we present evidence for a sensitive period in language development and show that it is specific to grammar. We conducted a masked priming task with a group of Turkish-German bilinguals and examined age of acquisition (AoA) effects on the processing of complex words. We compared a subtle but meaningful linguistic contrast, that between grammatical inflection and lexical-based derivation. The results showed a highly selective AoA effect on inflectional (but not derivational) priming. In addition, the effect displayed a discontinuity indicative of a sensitive period: Priming from inflected forms was nativelike when acquisition started before the age of 5 but declined with increasing AoA. We conclude that the acquisition of morphological rules expressing morphosyntactic properties is constrained by maturational factors.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author details:Joao Marques VeríssimoORCiDGND, Vera HeyerGND, Gunnar JacobORCiD, Harald ClahsenORCiDGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-412611
ISSN:1866-8364
Title of parent work (German):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe
Subtitle (English):evidence for a sensitive period
Publication series (Volume number):Zweitveröffentlichungen der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe (486)
Publication type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first publication:2018/12/03
Publication year:2017
Publishing institution:Universität Potsdam
Release date:2018/12/03
Tag:2nd langauge; 2nd-language acquisition; english; experience; language-acquisition; maturational constraints; perception; speech; visual word recognition
Issue:486
Number of pages:13
Source:Language Acquisition (2017) DOI: 10.1080/10489223.2017.1346104
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät
DDC classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
3 Sozialwissenschaften / 37 Bildung und Erziehung / 370 Bildung und Erziehung
4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Peer review:Referiert
Publishing method:Open Access
Grantor:Taylor & Francis Open Access Agreement
License (German):License LogoCC-BY-NC - Namensnennung, nicht kommerziell 4.0 International
External remark:Bibliographieeintrag der Originalveröffentlichung/Quelle
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