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Bilingual Competence and Bilingual Proficiency in Child Development$
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Norbert Francis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016391

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016391.001.0001

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The Critical Period, Access to Universal Grammar in First and Second Language, and Language Attrition

The Critical Period, Access to Universal Grammar in First and Second Language, and Language Attrition

Chapter:
(p.140) (p.141) 6 The Critical Period, Access to Universal Grammar in First and Second Language, and Language Attrition
Source:
Bilingual Competence and Bilingual Proficiency in Child Development
Author(s):

Norbert Francis

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262016391.003.0006

This chapter explores the concepts of modularity and the competence-ability distinction in the context of simultaneous, sequential, and subtractive bilingualism, second language (L2) learning, and first language (L1) attrition. It also considers access to Universal Grammar in L2 acquisition and argues that all “attrited languages” in children have an accompanying “replacing language” (RL) that attains completeness in a timely manner. It also suggests that language acquisition capacity must not deteriorate (that is, remain intact) during the period in childhood after L1 acquisition is consolidated, and perhaps even beyond. After providing an overview of language attrition, the chapter turns to critical periods in language development and demonstrates the application of the attrition/replacement concept to a problem in language shift.

Keywords:   modularity, bilingualism, second language, first language, language attrition, Universal Grammar, language acquisition, critical periods, language development, language shift

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