ASL Word Order Development

When learning a first language (L1) late in life, will the learners benefit from their matured cognitive functions, or, rather, suffer from the delayed language onset? Previous studies found that late L1 learners pick up basic words faster, but how about putting words together?

The current study looked at word order preference in spontaneous language samples from four adolescent L1 learners collected longitudinally from 12 months to 6 years of ASL exposure. Our results suggest that adolescent L1 learners go through stages similar to child native learners, although this process appears to be prolonged.

Cheng, Q., & Mayberry, R. I. (accepted). Acquiring a first language in adolescence: The case of basic word order in American Sign Language. Journal of Child Language. [link]

Cheng, Q., & Mayberry, R. (2017, Jul). Adolescent First-Language Acquisition of Word Order in American Sign Language.Poster presentation at The 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language, Lyon, University Lyon 2. [poster]