Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 261–283

A sensitive period for the acquisition of a nonnative phonological system

  • Susan Oyama

DOI: 10.1007/BF01067377

Cite this article as:
Oyama, S. J Psycholinguist Res (1976) 5: 261. doi:10.1007/BF01067377


Immigrants who had learned English at various ages and who had been in the United States for various amounts of time were judged for degree of accent in English. It was found that age at arrival was a strong predictor of degree of accent, while length of stay had very little effect. Other practice and motivational factors were related to accent only by virtue of their correlation with age at arrival. It was suggested that a sensitive period exists for the acquisition of a nonnative phonological system.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Oyama
    • 1
  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeThe City University of New YorkNew York

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