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International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching

Ed. by Jordens, Peter / Roberts, Leah


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Nativelikeness and non-nativelikeness in L2A research

David Birdsong

Citation Information: International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching. Volume 43, Issue 4, Pages 319–328, ISSN (Online) 1613-4141, ISSN (Print) 0019-042X, DOI: 10.1515/iral.2005.43.4.319, November 2005

Publication History

Published Online:
2005-11-24

Abstract

This commentary addresses the use of nativelikeness and non-nativelikeness in research relating to the age factor in L2A. I suggest that, in the context of the Critical Period Hypothesis as it applies to L2A, the criteria of nativelikeness and non-nativelikeness may be subject to abuse. I also argue that the use of the monolingual native standard for falsification of the CPH is undermined by departures from monolingual nativelikeness that are artifacts of the nature of bilingualism. Finally, I discuss ways that evidence of (non-) nativelikeness can be put to constructive use in research that investigates the upper limits of L2A attainment.

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