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Academic Paper

Title: The Bounds of Adult Language Acquisition
Author: Nick C. Ellis
Institution: University of Michigan
Author: Nuria Sagarra
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Rutgers University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: The current study investigates the limited attainment of adult language acquisition in terms of an associative learning phenomenon whereby earlier learned cues attentionally block those that are experienced later. Short- and long-term blocking are demonstrated in experimental investigations of learned attention in the acquisition of temporal reference in a small set of Latin phrases. In Experiment 1, previous experience with adverbial cues blocks the acquisition of verbal tense morphology, and, in contrast, early experience with tense blocks later learning of adverbs. Experiment 2 demonstrates long-term transfer effects: Native speakers of Chinese languages, which do not exhibit verb tense morphology, fail to acquire inflectional cues when adverbial and verbal cues are equally available.


This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 32, Issue 4, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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