Context Age of Language Acquisition

According to the context of language acquisition view, proposed by Wallace E. Lambert in the late 1950s, bilinguals who acquired their languages consecutively and in separate contexts (coordinate bilinguals) should be more likely to have differential disturbances in their languages than those who acquired the two languages simultaneously and in similar contexts (compound bilinguals). The assumption is that the earlier a second language is acquired, the more likely it is that it will share the neural substrate with the first language. No claim is made about the locus of the neural substrate. A recent study of 50 Catalan-Spanish bilingual aphasics classified as compound or coordinate did not find a different pattern of language recovery in the two groups; however, as Hamers and Blanc suggest, the criteria used to classify subjects in this study were not the same as those used in the original study by Lambert, and other psychosocial differences between the groups could have been operative.

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