Bilingual Language Development

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  • It is estimated that half of the world's child population grows up with two or more languages from infancy. Yet, findings from how children acquire just a single language are often upheld as a norm. This entry considers bilingual language development on its own terms. Studying bilingual children is highly informative for teasing apart universal aspects of language development and aspects that are linked to a particular language. The very fact that it is possible to summarize bilingual children's language development regardless of which languages they are learning indicates that bilingual development subsumes many universal processes. At the same time, this entry outlines to what extent language-specific factors are at work. Studying bilingual children is of great social significance as parents and educators need research-based ...

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