Bilingual Development : A Perspective From First Language Attrition

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Starting Article Summary The starting point article I chose to focus on for this comparison was ‘The Debate on Maturational Constraints in Bilingual Development: A Perspective from First-Language Attrition’ by Monika S. Schmid. In her study and subsequent article, she wanted to see if there was a correlation between Second Language Learners (and their age of acquisition) and Native Fluency - in detail, whether or not they have a maturational constraint in reaching native fluency in grammar, morphology, and the like.The study compared 20 (German L1) long-term users of their second language (English), 20 advanced immersed second language users (German L2, English L1), and 20 monolingual, native German speaking controls. The bilingual…show more content…
Summary of Second Article The second article I chose to use for this paper was ‘Phonological Similarity Judgements in ASL: Evidence for Maturational Constraints on Phonetic Perception in Sign.’. It was published in Sign Language & Linguistics, Volume 15, Issue 1 in 2012. The study and article was completed by Matthew L. Hall, Victor S. Ferreira, and Rachel L. Mayberry. The purpose of this study and its subsequent article was to look at phonological processing in sign language and how the Age of Acquisition affects said processing. They looked at previous studies done on how signers (of American Sign Language) overdiscriminate - overdiscrimination is the ability to realise differences between two tokens drawn from the same side of the category boundary - and found that the amount they overdiscriminate depends on their Age of Acquisition.These studies also found that native signers were less sensitive to ‘within-category variation’ and that non-native signers and non-signing participants (now referred to as naive participants) tended to make more within-category discriminations. These results shows that an earlier Age of Acquisition is linked to the learning of phonetic categories in sign phonology - something similar to phonetic learning in early spoken language acquisition. This in turn affects sign recognition and shows that non-native signers and naive participants usually tend to lean the same way
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