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Variations on “native language”

DateTuesday, 14th June 2016
LocationFRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Großer Seminarraum

veranstalter: Anne Cutler
institution: HPSL
language: Englisch
location institution: Freiburg
date_raw: 14. Juni 2016, 18-20 Uhr
date_sort: 14.06.2016, 00:00:00

We customarily rank the languages we use in terms of the order in which they were acquired: L1 is the first language, L2 etc. are second and later-acquired languages. L1 is often assumed to be another term for “native language”, and in many aspects of linguistic performance, nativeness confers substantial processing advantages (listening in noise; recognising and adapting to dialectal variation, identifying speakers etc.). But the spectrum of language exposure is very broad, and encompasses cases in which the language of first exposure is no longer used at all, even forgotten, and in which a second or later-acquired language is dominant. Evidence from such cases is able to illuminate the reasons why there is a nativeness advantage in processing spoken language.