Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Human language is extraordinary in its complexity and in the ability of our species to pick up on its intricacies. It has been said, however, that this ability lessens as a child develops, and suddenly becomes almost impossible once a person reaches puberty. This is known as the critical period hypothesis (CPH). I will argue that the CPH does not exist in the way that it is commonly presented to us. I will also talk about the one area of language development in which strong empirical evidence suggests age makes a difference: accent acquisition. With the area of accent acquisition being most effected by age, I will then propose a method of acquiring an accent for those who have surpassed childhood and are now trying to master a novel phonology.

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