The study of language learning, especially the processes by which first languages are learned by children.

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Limitations on constructed languages for native speakers to be

Let's say I constructed a language L and taught it to a thousand people. In a few years, their level of proficiency is perfect. I ask them to only speak L from now on and send them to an island where ...
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81 views

How similar are Spanish and French?

I know that Spanish and French both belong to the Romance branch and they are very alike. But what I want to make clear is that how similar they are. I mean that if I have mastered one of them, how ...
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59 views

Could a language be revived from a dictionary and lots of natural text?

Let's say aliens (someone completely new to the language) want to talk with users of it. They've obtained a complete dictionary, and a large selection of natural text (for this hypothetical situation, ...
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151 views

Does learning ancestral languages enrich a subsequent language?

[Grammarphobia.com:] The study, published in 1973, offered this breakdown of sources [of English vocabulary]: Latin: 28.34%;  French: 28.3%;   Old and Middle English, Old Norse, and Dutch: 25%; ...
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52 views

What are the stages of child speech and language development and why?

What are the distinct stages, landmarks or milestones in language acquisition in regard to phonetic development? What is the order they're typically reached, and why is it that order? For instance, I ...
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86 views

What is my first language?

I learned two languages during the "critical period". The first language I was exposed to was my "mother tongue", and so I feel most comfortable speaking in it. I went through English schooling, and ...
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688 views

Teaching my son Arabic [closed]

I recently had a meeting with my son's teacher. In the meeting she suggested that I stop teaching him arabic and focus only on English. Arabic is a big part of our family. She said only with reading ...
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40 views

How do linguists or professional language learners learn new languages? [closed]

I'm curious as what methods "professional language learners" have developed to quickly acquire new languages. By this I mean people who make it a hobby or profession to learn languages. I imagine many ...
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87 views

What stats are available to estimate the possibly coming “World language”?

My definition of the "World language" is the language most people can understand and use as an international language—not necessarily the language most spoken. Background: A hater of English argued ...
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40 views

Is there an order of difficulty for MSA?

Has an order of grammatical difficulty for Modern Standard Arabic been discovered (or proposed) similar to that found for L2 learners of English?
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84 views

What method of teaching foreign languages is more effective?

In wikipedia i found a list of methods of teaching foreign languages - language pedagogy. But it's seems that we not have a well recognized method or methods, or more effective then others, or at ...
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103 views

L1 acquisition of morphology in heavily inflected languages

It is very common to hear two- and three-year-olds in English saying "I falled down," "She gived me it," etc. And the frequency of a verb form is inversely related to the age at which one is likely to ...
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19 views

neonatal syntax acquisition

How do infants use the patterns of distribution among closed class words to acquire syntax? Has anyone simulated the process? If we start formulating our theories as we begin to recognize words, and ...
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42 views

Language policies in education for Switzerland

In Switzerland there are 4 official languages, Italian, French, German and Romensch. How are the education laws on the places where each one of these languages is spoken? Do the public schools ...
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36 views

Language policies in education for Friesland

Friesland is a region in northern Netherlands where the Frisian language is spoken. As part of the Netherlands, Dutch is also spoken. So for natives of Frisian language there should be an educative ...
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22 views

What is the role of watching articulation in learning pronunciation?

It's obviously easier to pronounce and, perhaps even acquire, a sound or sequence not present in one's native language if one watches carefully a speaker's mouth. What is this phenomena called? Where ...
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118 views

Do native speakers of languages using logographic writing internally vocalize while reading?

I study Chinese as a second language. Listening is my strong point. When I read, I go through this process: see character  imagine myself speaking the pronunciation  think of meaning (from the ...
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1answer
79 views

Is it true that one can be bilingual in any pair of languages or are some languages 'incompatible' with one another when learned in childhood?

There are many stories of a child speaking several languages when his parents speak different languages. But languages can differ significantly, so I'm curious whether pairs of 'incompatible' ...
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1answer
74 views

How can I embed language proficiency assessment within an unrelated experiment design?

I'm in the process of designing a self-paced-reading & a grammaticality-judgment-task experiment, which should be performed by second language learners. It is crucial to the study is how the ...
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52 views

Common schemes for learning (Indo-)European languages

The modern European languages of Indo-European ancestry - like in the Germanic, Romanic, and Slavic branch, for example - share a lot of linguistics features. This consists of similar etymologies, ...
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112 views

A multilingual home, a pro or a con?

My question is about the appropriate number of languages for a child to learn at home. I'm Finnish and me and my husband recently moved to Finland after living in Spain a few years. My husband's first ...
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127 views

Two tasks in one experiment design (self-paced-reading & grammaticality judgment)

For experiment design experts, I want to know if it's possible to design an experiment on PsychoPy or Open Sesame in which the subject does a self paced reading (with measuring the reading times for ...
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2answers
237 views

Teaching children Spanish and Esperanto at home from non-native speakers

A question has already been asked on teaching a child a foreign language if you aren't a native speaker, but the answers are mixed - the 'right' answer says languages can be taught by a non-native ...
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190 views

Is language really too complex for children?

One of the maxims of universal grammar is that children's language acquisition indicates the existence of a genetically preprogrammed language faculty. Because a child cannot master certain complex ...
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139 views

How do homonyms impact English Language Learners comprehension?

I understand that homonyms are words that sound alike but have different meanings. They may or may not be spelled the same. For example, the word fair is spelled and pronounced the same for three ...
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11k views

What is the difference between native language, first language, mother tongue and L1?

Note: I'm not a linguist, and I realize I might be treading in a grey area here. I'm wondering what the differences (and/or similarities) between native language, first language, mother tongue and L1 ...
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1answer
128 views

Mastering a foreign language without staying in a country to which the language is native

I am not a native English speaker. What I would like to understand is - if a non native speaker who’s got a fairly decent command on the language (in this case say English) speaks to his or her kid in ...
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60 views

What are the main factors that define the difference between spoken and written language acquisition?

I am writing an essay and could really do with some help. I am only interested in native language acquisition at this time, there seems to be many sources available on spoken language acquisition but ...
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180 views

Is it more difficult to learn Japanese or English for a Chinese?

For Europeans it's easier to learn English than Japanese. Is the the same true for Chinese? As far as measuring difficulty I would propose the amount of hours that you need to study the language to ...
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1answer
101 views

Is there a term for the error whereby two commonly co-occurring words are mistakenly learned as one?

Consider the following dialogue: "How are you, Juliet?" "Ohnot too bad" The child has evidently heard people saying responding to "How are you?" with "Oh, not too bad" and has come to learn ...
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277 views

There is evidence that domesticated animals (cats or dogs) understand human language?

Some pet owners seem to be able to speak to their cats or dogs. Is there any evidence that animals understand human languages? EDIT: By understand, i mean understanding of spoken language and ...
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906 views

Are there marked/“hard” phonemes that are acquired very late or never by a substantial number of speakers?

Marked phonemes are those that require more effort during articulation or are "harder" to articulate. For example, the interdental fricatives /θ/ and /ð/ are considered to be marked. Marked phonemes ...
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88 views

What kinds of evidence are used in order to discover how children acquire language & what are its limitations?

Could someone help me to breakdown what this question needs me to look at specifically!? 'Assess the state of language acquisition research in terms of the types of evidence that are used to support ...
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113 views

Has anyone here successfully learned another language? [closed]

Has anyone here successfully learned* another language? *Learned being defined as the ability to communicate with native speakers without trouble (or basically, at an expert level). I'm curious to ...
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38 views

The informal word a child uses to call his/her mother is the same (or strongly similar) in many languages. Why? [duplicate]

I was rather surprised to learn that the Chinese word for "mommy" is māmā. It never surprised me to hear that this word is similar among Western languages, because of some common origin or borrowing ...
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165 views

Is phonics still considered a strong teaching tool for teaching reading skills?

A number of years ago there was a company called "Hooked on Phonics", which made a name for itself with a successful ad campaign, and whose aim was to emphasize connecting different phonemes of words ...
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260 views

What language do children think in?

If a child born in Canada is spoken to strictly in another foreign tongue other than english (ie. Italian), it is inevitable that this child will also think in Italian. When this child starts going ...
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208 views

What Second Language Confers the Greatest Cognitive Benefit [closed]

If I were to learn a second language which language in the world would confer the greatest cognitive benefit to a native English speaker? Would, say, Japanese confer greater benefit than Spanish due ...
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172 views

Getting familiar with accents

Would it not be nice to have a site from which people can listen to different phrases in different languages with each phrase having the following characteristics, in any combination: Sample ...
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204 views

Do teachers of ESL need to know how first language is acquired?

In my class we are discussing teaching English as a second language. Some contend that to teach ESL we need to know the processes an theories about first language acquisition and it is not clear to me ...
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1answer
245 views

Would a Proto language be easy to learn?

Since English descends from Proto-Germanic, which descends from PIE, would either of those two languages be relatively easy to learn (compared to, say, Japanese), or has the language changed too much ...
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246 views

Studies of Twin Speak

I'm curious about language acquisition among twins. I've heard it said that they often develop their own language (of sorts) and I was wondering if anyone has done any studies of this phenomenon. Is ...
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176 views

Understanding English deeply like native speakers

As I have noticed, a native speaker can actually judge the essence of person, the way he's feeling, even his personality through his writing or voice. Will it be possible for a non-native English ...
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4answers
427 views

Can children learn up to 4 different languages? And how to do it?

An example is parents with different mother tongues living in a foreign country, teaching those three languages and also English. How and when should this language be taught? Can all be taught in ...
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1answer
923 views

Relationship between language similarity and ease of foreign language acquisition?

Inspired by this infographic, which lists a bunch of languages as either easy to learn, hard to learn, or medium. I noticed that all the languages in the easy category were either Romance or Germanic ...
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333 views

Can one's native medium of language be written, rather than spoken or signed?

(This is probably a poorly-formed question, but I'm really just trying to find out if there's any research in this area.) Most children pick up a spoken or signed language at an early age, and this ...
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2answers
140 views

What can one gain from learning language constructed for books or films, like Sindarin? [closed]

I know about people who learn, use and even develop the constructed languages created for books or films, such as Sindarin. Most of them are doing it because of a very geek interest in the topic, or ...
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2k views

How useful is the “pimsleur approach” for learning a new language?

I saw this video earlier today (The most important part is from 8.00 to 9.00), explaining what the "Pimsleur approach" is. It got me interested, because they claim it's the fastest method of learning ...
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289 views

How do children learn to speak compared to adults?

Why is it hard to learn a second language as an adult while the children may learn to speak more than one language more easily than adults do? If true, how can the language learning process be made ...
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2k views

Can I learn a new language just by listening or watching videos?

The question is a bit more specific than title would suggest, but I was not creative enough to put it so specifically into compact form. Let me explain. When I was a kid I was learning English in ...