Effects of early bilingualism on learning phonological regularities in a new language

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing on structural sensitivity theory, the current study investigated monolingual and bilingual children's ability to learn how phonemes combine to form acceptable syllables in a new language. A total of 186 monolingual and bilingual kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders in Taiwan participated in the study. Bilingual children, regardless of whether they actively used a second language at home or simply had exposure to it, showed an advantage over their monolingual peers in learning the phonological patterns in the new language. The study provides empirical support for structural sensitivity theory and calls for the need to reconceptualize the effects of early bilingualism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-467
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Acquisition
  • Bilingualism
  • Language
  • Mandarin
  • Phonotactics
  • Statistical learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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