We thank Joe Bogen, Valentin Braitenberg, Joaquin Fuster, Arnold Scheibel, and Almut Schiiz for valuable comments on earlier versions of this manu-script. We are also grateful to three anonymous referees for their constructive comments. Research was supported, in part, by a Helmholtz Fellowship for Neurobiological Research from the Bundesministerium fur Forschung und Technologie, Germany, and by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Grant Pu 9712, to the fist author.
Neurobiological Mechanisms of Language Acquisition
Article first published online: 27 OCT 2006
© 1994 Language Learning Research Club, University of Michigan
Volume 44, Issue 4, pages 681–734, December 1994
How to Cite
Pulvermüller, F. and Schumann, J. H. (1994), Neurobiological Mechanisms of Language Acquisition. Language Learning, 44: 681–734. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-1770.1994.tb00635.x
Requests for reprints may be sent to Friedemann Pulvermüller, Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tübingen, Gartenstraße 29, 72074 Tübingen, Germany, or to John H. Schumann, Department of TESL & Applied Linguistics, University of California, Los Angeles, 3300 Rolfe Hall, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90024. Telephone: (310) 825-4631. E-mail: for FP, firstname.lastname@example.org and for JHS, email@example.com.
- Issue published online: 27 OCT 2006
- Article first published online: 27 OCT 2006
- Revised version accepted 24 May 1994
In this paper we specify language acquisition processes in terms of brain mechanisms in order to explain the variable success achieved by early and late language learners. On the basis of the literature in language acquisition, neurobiology, and linguistics, we propose a brain-based model for language acquisition. The model assumes two conditions must be met in order to acquire full knowledge of a particular language: first, that the learner is motivated to acquire the language; and second, that the learner is equipped with the ability to acquire grammatical knowledge. We explain the neural underpinnings for both motivation and grammatical ability and show how they interact to produce variable success in language acquisition.