Language acquisition refers to the processes involved in learning to produce and comprehend human language. It encompasses the acquisition of phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic features of language; the development of vocabulary; and the advancement of pragmatic skills of using language in social interaction. The concept is further subdivided into first-language (L1) acquisition, second-language (L2) acquisition, and foreign language (FL) acquisition. This entry primarily deals with language acquisition in terms of L1. However, the division into L1, L2, and FL is explicated subsequently, for clarity.

L1 acquisition is the development of one’s mother tongue. It should be noted that a person may speak more than one L1, for example, in cases of the simultaneous development of two or, in some cases, more languages. Bilingualism (speaking ...

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