Is there a critical period for semantics?

2009-04-04 19:06 来源: 作者:Sophia 网友评论 0 条 浏览次数 1

Second Language Research, Vol. 22, No. 3, 302-338 (2006)
DOI: 10.1191/0267658306sr270oa

Is there a critical period for semantics?

Roumyana Slabakova

University of Iowa, Roumyana-slabakova@uiowa.edu

This article reviews recent research on the second language acquisition of meaning with a view of establishing whether there is a critical period for the acquisition of compositional semantics. It is claimed that the functional lexicon presents the most formidable challenge, while syntax and phrasal semantics pose less difficulty to learners. Findings from the neurofunctional imaging (PET, fMRI) and electrophysiology (ERPs) of L2 comprehension are reviewed and critically examined. Since it is argued that experimental tasks suggesting differential acquisition of L2 syntax and semantics are in need of linguistic refinement, further evidence is marshalled from behavioural studies of L2 acquisition of semantics to fill in the current gap in L2 comprehension modelling. The 15 studies reviewed here point to no apparent barrier to ultimate success in the acquisition of phrasal semantics.

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