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Variability and stability in early language acquisition: Comparing monolingual and bilingual infants' speech perception and word recognition

  • Barbara Höhle (a1), Ranka Bijeljac-Babic (a2) and Thierry Nazzi (a3)


Many human infants grow up learning more than one language simultaneously but only recently has research started to study early language acquisition in this population more systematically. The paper gives an overview on findings on early language acquisition in bilingual infants during the first two years of life and compares these findings to current knowledge on early language acquisition in monolingual infants. Given the state of the research, the overview focuses on research on phonological and early lexical development in the first two years of life. We will show that the developmental trajectory of early language acquisition in these areas is very similar in mono- and bilingual infants suggesting that these early steps into language are guided by mechanisms that are rather robust against the differences in the conditions of language exposure that mono- and bilingual infants typically experience.

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Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Barbara Höhle, E-mail:


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Variability and stability in early language acquisition: Comparing monolingual and bilingual infants' speech perception and word recognition

  • Barbara Höhle (a1), Ranka Bijeljac-Babic (a2) and Thierry Nazzi (a3)


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