chapter  6
Less is Less in Language Acquisition
WithDouglas L. T. Rohde, David C. Plaut
Pages 41

Carnegie Mellon University and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Pittsburgh, USA

A principal observation in the study of language acquisition is that people exposed to a language as children are more likely to achieve fluency in that language than those first exposed to it as adults, giving rise to the popular notion of a critical period for language learning (Lenneberg, 1967; Long, 1990). This is perhaps surprising because children have been found to be inferior to adults in most tests of other cognitive abilities.