Special Issue "Variability and Age in Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism"
A special issue of Languages (ISSN 2226-471X).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (16 April 2021) | Viewed by 5429
In this Special Issue of Languages, the invited papers examine second language acquisition and bilingualism in terms of two key research dimensions: variability and age. Linguistic attainment is typically more heterogeneous among late L2 learners, compared to early L2 learners and to simultaneous bilinguals. The Special Issue goes beyond this basic relationship to consider variability and age – independently and in terms of their interconnectedness – from diverse perspectives. The contributions, which take the form of review articles, position papers, and original research, address a coherent set of fundamental questions. These include the following:
- With respect to the connection of variability and age in ultimate attainment, what does the latest research tell us about the boundary conditions of age of L2 learning? Is it possible for late learners to resemble natives in terms of attained variability?
- What learner-independent factors condition the loci and degree of attained variability? How does learner-dependent variability in the process of learning (e.g., exposure, interaction, socialization, motivation, etc.) relate to variability in the outcome of learning?
- Similar questions apply to bilingualism effects, which may be modulated by age of learning and L1-L2 dominance effects. In terms of variable outcomes within and across groups, what factors condition the degree and loci of influences of the L1 on the L2 (and vice versa)?
- In what respects are the language capabilities of a simultaneous bilingual different from, and similar to, those of two monolinguals who speak each language? Since observed differences cannot be attributed to age of learning, what are the sources – experiential, environmental, cognitive, linguistic, sociopsychological – of the differences? On relevant linguistic, psycholinguistic, and neurolinguistic measures, are simultaneous bilinguals more heterogeneous than monolinguals, and if so, why?
- Is it possible to discern and classify learner types according to known dimensions of cognitive and experiential variability, and on this basis produce theoretically meaningful predictions about eventual bilingual knowledge and processing among different learner types?
- How does variability in the interactional context of bilingualism relate to variability in the L1 (at any level of analysis)? In what ways and to what extent does experience-driven L1 variability reflect plasticity in the linguistic system?
- On the matter of age, what is the latest thinking about critical period and age-related determinants of L2 learning outcomes? What accounts and models, be they mathematical, socio-psychological, interactional, biological, ethological, cognitive, emergentist, nativist, etc., represent adequate fits for ultimate attainment data and its underlying processes?
- What is the evidence for differences between simultaneous, early-sequential and late bilinguals? What kinds of evidence are needed to disconfirm the Critical Period Hypothesis?
- With respect to processing strategies and capacities, what do we know about the sources, loci, and degree of age-related differences in bilingualism?
Note: This Special Issue only publishes commissioned content. Please do not submit unsolicited manuscripts.
Prof. Dr. David P Birdsong
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Languages is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- second language acquisition
- ultimate attainment
- critical periods
- learning models
- bilingualism effects
- bilingual experience
- age-related effects
- learner factors
- learner types
- individual differences