Linguistic advantages of bilingualism (in typical and atypical development)
There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating that child bilingualism is associated with cognitive advantages. In contrast, relatively little is known about linguistic advantages of bilingualism. In this talk I will report a series of studies targeting two kinds of bilingual advantages: foreign language learning advantages and bilingual bootstrapping (acceleration in the development of one language under the positive influence of the other). Taken together, the results suggest that the two types of bilingual advantages may hinge on the same crucial mechanisms: (i) positive transfer of linguistic knowledge and (ii) enhanced input processing capacities. Whereas positive transfer may be constrained by developmental language disorder, enhanced input processing appears to be available to bilingual children with both typical and atypical language development.