For a long time, it was assumed that the human language capacity should best be studied in an idealised context – people learning and speaking only one language from birth. Any differences from this pattern, either because a person was exposed to multiple languages or was acquiring a signed instead of or in addition to a spoken one, or due to the presence of cognitive or developmental disorders and/or cognitive decline towards the end of the lifespan, was taken to be noise in the data that should be abstracted away from, rather than part of the signal.
It is only relatively recently that linguistics has come to understand that monolinguals are not the norm but the exception, that all forms of language development – including attrition, ageing and impairment – are an expression of the human language capacity and that they should therefore be studied on a par with those of monolinguals.
This study examines how listening is affected when concurrent tasks are performed.
This project examines how the Holocaust impacted upon survivors' first language and their subsequent ability to attain a second language.
This new study is a pilot project aimed at preparing the ground for a larger investigation into whether participation in a foreign language learning programme can contribute to building cognitive reserve in older adults, and which factors predict older adults’ foreign language learning success.
This ongoing project accounts for observed speech errors in language acquisition (children) and language loss (people with aphasia) with the notion of phonological complexity.