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:João VeríssimoORCiD, Vera HeyerGND, Gunnar Jacob, Harald ClahsenORCiDGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-412611
ISSN:1866-8364
Parent Title (German):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe
Subtitle (English):evidence for a sensitive period
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe (486)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2018/12/03
Year of Completion: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
Pagenumber:13
Source:Language Acquisition (2017) DOI: 10.1080/10489223.2017.1346104
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Dewey Decimal 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
Publication Way:Open Access
Grantor:Taylor & Francis Open Access Agreement
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, Nicht kommerziell 4.0 International