Individual Differences in Language Acquisition and Processing Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Humans differ in innumerable ways, with considerable variation observable at every level of description, from the molecular to the social. Traditionally, linguistic and psycholinguistic theory has downplayed the possibility of meaningful differences in language across individuals. However, it is becoming increasingly evident that there is significant variation among speakers at any age as well as across the lifespan. Here, we review recent research in psycholinguistics, and argue that a focus on individual differences (IDs) provides a crucial source of evidence that bears strongly upon core issues in theories of the acquisition and processing of language; specifically, the role of experience in language acquisition, processing, and attainment, and the architecture of the language system.

authors

publication date

  • 2018