Year 2015, Volume 4 , Issue 2, Pages 147 - 155 2015-12-22

Current issues in the neurolinguistics of bilingualism

Ayşe GÜREL [1]

Neurolinguistics is the study of the neural mechanisms in the human brain that control the comprehension and production of language. It also deals with neurological correlates of language acquisition and language loss. Neurolinguistic research is traditionally based on data from populations with impaired language in order to identify the nature of human language. To this end, the field of aphasiology has made a major contribution towards attainment of empirical knowledge as it has provided linguistic characterization of various types of aphasic syndromes in monolingual and bilingual individuals. With the advent of neuroimaging techniques, neurolinguists can now obtain language processing data from healthy individuals to answer more advanced questions about language in the brain. The neurolinguistic aspects of second language (L2) acquisition have been examined for decades to identify two central issues: the cerebral representation of language in monolinguals and bilinguals, and neurological correlates of sensitive (or critical) period that limits L2 acquisition in adulthood. Nevertheless, recent neurolinguistic research discusses not only what neurological changes lead to constraints in L2 attainment but also what changes L2 attainment generates in brain structures. This brief review aims to highlight these major issues in neurolinguistic and neuropsychological research as it relates to L2 acquisition and L2 pedagogy.

Keywords: Neurolinguistics, bilingualism, L2 acquisition

Journal Section Research Article

Author: Ayşe GÜREL


Application Date : December 22, 2015
Acceptance Date : June 20, 2021
Publication Date : December 22, 2015

APA Gürel, A . (2015). Current issues in the neurolinguistics of bilingualism . ELT Research Journal , 4 (2) , 147-155 . Retrieved from