Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

First and Second Language Acquisition
Parallels and Differences


Part of Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics

  • Date Published: July 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521552943

£ 86.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Infants and very young children develop almost miraculously the ability of speech, without apparent effort, without even being taught - as opposed to the teenager or the adult struggling without, it seems, ever being able to reach the same level of proficiency as five year olds in their first language. This useful textbook serves as a guide to different types of language acquisition: monolingual and bilingual first language development and child and adult second language acquisition. Unlike other books, it systematically compares first and second language acquisition, drawing on data from several languages. Research questions and findings from various subfields are helpfully summarized to show students how they are related and how they often complement each other. The essential guide to studying first and second language acquisition, it will be used on courses in linguistics, modern languages and developmental psychology.

    • Each chapter includes suggested reading and topics for further discussion
    • Summarizes research questions and findings from various subfields to demonstrate how they are related and how they often complement each other
    • A useful glossary at the end of the book provides a guide to the technical terms
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… an excellent textbook on similarities and differences between first and second language acquisition, but also an insightful and provocative synthesis of research on this topic.' Fred Genesee, McGill University

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521552943
    • length: 322 pages
    • dimensions: 255 x 181 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.77kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 9 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The quest for the LAD
    2. First language development - Universal Grammar as the centerpiece of the human language making capacity
    3. Obvious (observable) similarities and differences between first and second language acquisition - developmental sequences
    4. The initial state and beyond
    5. Developing grammatical knowledge - parameter setting and inductive learning
    6. Neural maturation and age - opening and closing windows of opportunities
    7. A (tentative) theory of language acquisition - L1, 2L1, and L2.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Acquisition of Syntax
    • Emergent/Early Literacy
    • First and Second Language Acquisition
    • Formal Approaches to Language Acquisition
    • How do people learn a second language
    • Introduction to Language Acquisition and Diversity
    • Language Acquisition
    • Language Acquisition Theories
    • Linguistic Theory and Second Language Acquisition
    • Principles & Issues of 2nd Language Acquisition
    • Research methods in second language acquisition
    • SPAN/TESL Second Language Acquisition
    • Second Language Acquisition and ELL
    • Speech, Language and Literacy Development
    • Topics in Spanish Linguistics
  • Author

    Jürgen M. Meisel, Universität Hamburg
    Jürgen M. Meisel is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics in the Department of Romance Languages and a member and former Chair (1999–2006) of the Research Center on Bilingualism at the University of Hamburg. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Distinguished Fellow in the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Calgary. He is one of the founding editors and current co-editor of the journal Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, published by Cambridge University Press.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.