Disentangling bilingualism from SLI: Dissociating exposure and input

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11 Scopus citations


Exposure and input are often used interchangeably in the study of child bilingualism to describe the learner's interaction with her environment. Carroll (Carroll), in her thought-provoking keynote article, challenges the equation between amount of exposure and amount of input necessary for acquiring a language, and in particular a second language. Carroll, whose diverse research borrows from both generative and psychological models of learning, brings these two perspectives into her exploration of the role of exposure and input in language acquisition, calling for a clearer definition of each. Carroll argues that the input to the language acquisition mechanism is the abstract construct necessary in order to solve the learning problem, and it is not a function of the amount of exposure: very little input is necessary in order to solve a learning problem, e.g., identifying word boundaries, or acquiring a syntactic structure. While scrutinizing the equation often drawn between exposure and input, Carroll further argues that the amount of exposure further misses the quality of this exposure as well as the societal context in which this exposure occurs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-34
Number of pages2
Issue number1
Early online date23 Mar 2016
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

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Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2016.


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