Second Language Acquisition: A Framework for Studying the Importance of Input and Interaction in Exceptional Song Acquisition

Authors

  • Dr. Irene M. Pepperberg,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Anthropology and Linguistics and the Program on Language and Cognition Northwestern University, Evanston
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  • Denise M. Neapolitan

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Anthropology and Linguistics and the Program on Language and Cognition Northwestern University, Evanston
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Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University, 1810 Hinman Ave., Evanston, IL 60208, USA

Centre for Cognitive Science, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9LW, U.K.

Abstract

Recent studies demonstrate that specific types of live input and social interaction facilitate “exceptional” song acquisition. The term “exceptional” denotes time-independent song acquisition and learning of nonspecies-specific song (or parts of song) and second dialects by birds generally thought to have restrictions on their learning capabilities. Recent research in human second language acquisition (SLA) also emphasizes the roles of input and interaction. The purpose of this paper is to focus on these parallels and suggest that SLA studies can provide further insights into exceptional song acquisition, particularly with respect to new directions for ornithological research.

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