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Language separation and interaction in bilingual language acquisition

Research dedicated to bilingual language acquisition in young infants has been concerned with the development of the two learner systems and the potential relationship between the two in the course of their development. Against the backdrop of the insights obtained about the main developmental milestones in monolingual language acquisition, studies on bilingual learners have sought to determine whether the developmental sequences identified also hold of language development in a bilingual acquisition situation. Because the developmental sequence identified for monolingual learners is assumed to be determined by underlying language-specific learning processes, research on language development in other situations is expected to contribute further to our understanding of the mechanisms of change in the evolution of grammars.

Another focus of the research pertains to the organisation of multilingual knowledge and the relationship of language systems in the course of the bilingual development. A crucial question pertains to the role of language mixing and whether the combination of elements of two languages is indicative of confusion or a creative use of linguistic resources available.

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