Language Development Over the Lifespan

Wiseman, Cynthia S.

Language Development over the Lifespan, compiled by Kees de Bot and Robert W. Schrauf, is a collection of articles that explore language development—both language acquisition and language attrition—from a lifespan perspective. This volume of articles was, first of all, intended as a reference resource for research on language development and the aging process and as a text for MA courses in applied linguistics/bilingualism programs. More importantly, this book establishes a new and exciting perspective on language acquisition by considering developmental language phenomena, that is, “developmental” changes in language that occur over the span of a lifetime. This volume thus opens up new windows to research language acquisition from a developmental perspective. Language development becomes a function of the interaction of timescales both within the lifespan of the individual and at a larger “biocultural” (i.e., historical) level of language development. Historical events like the adoption of an official language by a government, for example, generate changes in language use at a macro-level, which in turn produce “cohort effects” that affect language development within the individual. A key concept to this lifespan perspective is that language is a dynamic system involving multiple components and subsystems. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the impact of cognitive and psychological factors, as well as social and cultural factors like the role of life events in the dynamic development of language.


Also Published In

Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics

More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Published Here
November 5, 2015

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