First-Language Acquisition in Adolescence: Evidence for a Critical Period for Verbal Language Development

  title={First-Language Acquisition in Adolescence: Evidence for a Critical Period for Verbal Language Development},
  author={Gina M. Grimshaw and Ana Adelstein and M. Philip Bryden and G. E. Mackinnon},
  journal={Brain and Language},
It has been hypothesized that there is a critical period for first-language acquisition that extends into late childhood and possibly until puberty. The hypothesis is difficult to test directly because cases of linguistic deprivation during childhood are fortunately rare. We present here the case of E.M., a young man who has been profoundly deaf since birth and grew up in a rural area where he received no formal education and had no contact with the deaf community. At the age of 15, E.M. was… Expand
Language Acquisition in Late Critical Period: A Case Report
Abstract Studies carried out to support the existence of a critical period for language acquisition have concentrated mainly on the case of being in total deprivation from language contact, and inExpand
Grammatical development in adolescent first-language learners
Studies of first-language acquisition in adolescence are very rare and depend primarily on comprehension measures to evaluate grammatical knowledge. These studies have led to the general conclusionExpand
Language acquisition for deaf children: Reducing the harms of zero tolerance to the use of alternative approaches
An alternative to speech-exclusive approaches to language acquisition exists in the use of sign languages such as ASL, where acquiring a sign language is subject to the same time constraints of spoken language development. Expand
Imagination exercises improve language in younger but not in older children with autism suggesting a strong critical period
Findings support Lenneberg's critical period hypothesis and indicate that acquisition of voluntary imagination is essential for the full language acquisition and imply that the underlying plasticity dramatically diminishes after the age of five and therefore even greater therapeutic intervention should be targeting the very first years of a child's life. Expand
What Sign Language Reveals about the Critical Period for Language
This chapter examines the critical period for language through the prism of deafness.The first topic is the concept of critical periods, followed by a summary of research investigating age ofExpand
Ensuring language acquisition for deaf children: What linguists can do
Parents of small deaf children need guidance on constructing home and school environments that affect normal language acquisition. They often turn to physicians and spiritual leaders and,Expand
Acquiring a first language in adolescence: the case of basic word order in American Sign Language
The early syntactic development of adolescent first language learners is studied by examining word order patterns in ASL, suggesting that adolescent L1 learners go through stages similar to child native learners, although this process also appears to be prolonged. Expand
The initial stages of first-language acquisition begun in adolescence: when late looks early.
The current study investigates three cases of young teens who are in the early stages of acquiring American Sign Language (ASL) as a first language, to determine what first-language acquisition in adolescence looks like. Expand
Effects of Early Language Deprivation : Mapping between Brain and Behavioral Outcomes
One core issue regarding language development is the role of early language experience. The literature on child language development has found that the quality and quantity of early language input isExpand
Linguistically deprived children: meta-analysis of published research underlines the importance of early syntactic language use for normal brain development
All tests performed on linguistic isolates are ranked by their reliance on the LPFC control of the posterior cortex, showing that purposeful construction of novel mental images is the function of the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) ability to dynamically control posterior cortex neurons. Expand


New evidence is presented that modifies Lenneberg's (1967) proposed critical period of language acquisition. The development of lateralization is complete much earlier than puberty and is thus not aExpand
Critical period effects in second language learning: The influence of maturational state on the acquisition of English as a second language
The results support the conclusion that a critical period for language acquisition extends its effects to second language acquisition. Expand
The long-lasting advantage of learning sign language in childhood: Another look at the critical period for language acquisition
Abstract We find the long-range outcome of sign language acquisition to depend upon when it first occurs. Subjects were 49 deaf signers who had used sign language for an average of 42 years but firstExpand
Gestural communication in deaf children: the effects and noneffects of parental input on early language development.
The data reported in this series of studies confirm that deaf children lacking a conventional linguistic input can develop a gestural communication system that shows some of the structural regularities characteristic of early child language. Expand
Language development in exceptional circumstances
K. Mogford, D. Bishop, Language Development in Unexceptional Circumstances. D.H. Skuse, Extreme Deprivation in Early Childhood. N. Schiff Myers, Hearing Children of Deaf Parents. F. Genesee,Expand
Beyond the Input Given: The Child's Role in the Acquisition of Language
The child's creative contribution to the language-acquisition process is potentially most apparent in situations where the linguistic input available to the child is degraded, providing the childExpand
Critical period effects on universal properties of language: The status of subjacency in the acquisition of a second language
The results suggest that whatever the nature of the endowment that allows humans to learn language, it undergoes a very broad deterioration as learners become increasingly mature. Expand
Acquired aphasia in children and the ontogenesis of hemispheric functional specialization
  • H. Hécaen
  • Medicine, Psychology
  • Brain and Language
  • 1976
The authors' analysis appears to indicate a relative hemispheric equipotentiality which permits the transfer of language representation to the opposite hemisphere in the case of a unilateral lesions in childhood. Expand
Maturational Constraints on Language Learning
  • E. Newport
  • Psychology, Computer Science
  • Cogn. Sci.
  • 1990
This paper suggests that there are constraints on learning required to explain the acquisition of language, in particular, mului ultonol constraints, and suggests that language learning abilities decline because of the expansion of nonlinguisftc cognitive abilities. Expand
The Creation of a Communication System: A Study of Deaf Children of Hearing Parents
Common knowledge has it that when you talk to a child in English the child learns to speak English, and when you talk to a child in Japanese the child learns Japanese. It is also now well known thatExpand