Mayberry and Kluender (2017) offer a rich review of empirical research that contributes to the understanding of age-related effects on first and second language acquisition. Their keynote article compiles current, primarily linguistic and neurolinguistic, research on the notion of a critical period for language (CPL). The authors conclude “that the putative CPL applies to L1 learning, and that L2 effects are a consequence of this prior learning” (Mayberry & Kluender, 2017: p. 6). As they propose a clear role for CPL in L1 learning, and because their exact position on its role in L2 learning is, to my mind, not as clearly articulated, I will take the opportunity to argue the following: If a CPL exists at all, it should have identifiable implications for all kinds of language acquisition (cf. Gleitman & Newport, 1995). In the case of L2 acquisition what needs to be identified is how maturational constraints (implicated by a CPL) interact with other conditions that are at hand when the second language comes onto the scene.
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