Multilingualism across the Lifespan  book cover
1st Edition

Multilingualism across the Lifespan

ISBN 9780367646820
Published October 18, 2021 by Routledge
272 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This innovative collection examines key questions on language diversity and multilingualism running through contemporary debates in psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics.

Reinforcing interdisciplinary conversations on these themes, each chapter is co-authored by two different researchers, often those who have not written together before. The combined effect is a volume showcasing unique and dynamic perspectives on such topics as multilingualism across the lifespan, bilingual acquisition, family language policy, language and ageing, language shift, language and identity, and multilingualism and language impairment. The book builds on Elizabeth Lanza’s pioneering work on multilingualism across the lifespan, bringing together cutting-edge research exploring multilingualism as an evolving phenomenon at landmarks in individuals’, families’, and communities’ lives. Taken together, the book offers a rich portrait of the different facets of multilingualism as a lived reality for individuals, families, and communities.

This ground-breaking volume will be of particular interest to students and scholars in multilingualism, applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, and psycholinguistics.

Table of Contents



Preface by Marilyn Martin-Jones

Introduction Robert Blackwood and Unn Røyneland

Part One – Bilingual acquisition – methodological and theoretical advances

1. Child Language Assessment across Different Multilingual Contexts:

Insights and challenges from South and North

Hanne Gram Simonsen and Frenette Southwood

2. Developmental Perspectives on Parents’ Use of Discourse Strategies with Bilingual Children

Annick De Houwer and Janice Nakamura

3. The Role of the Input in the Acquisition of Code-Switching

Shannon Phillips and Margaret Deuchar

Part Two – Language Practices and Policies in the Family

4. Language Development, Discourse, and Politics: Family language policy foundations and current directions

Kendall King and Xiao-Lan Curdt-Christiansen

5. Family Time(s): Migrant temporalities in Family Language Planning in the urban African South

Christine Anthonissen and Christopher Stroud

6. From "Civilising Missions" to Indigenous Language Reclamation: Language policy, language shift and maintenance in Australia and Norway

Pia Lane and Gillian Wigglesworth

Part Three – Bilingual Ageing – Communication and Cognitive Impairments


7. Where have all my languages gone? Aging and the changing multilingual linguistic ecology

Ng Bee Chin and Francesco Cavallaro

8. Fostering Storytelling by Persons with Dementia in Multiparty Conversation Jan Svennevig and Heidi Hamilton

9. Assessment challenges in Acquired Aphasia in Multilingual Individuals Monica Norvik and Mira Goral

10. Pathological Language Switching/Mixing and its Relationship to Domain-General Cognitive Control

Valantis Fyndanis and Minna Lehtonen

Part Four – Concluding Remarks

11. Carving New Spaces in the Study of Individual Multilingualism Across the Lifespan

Lourdes Ortega


List of Contributors

List of Figures

List of Tables



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 Unn Røyneland is Professor of Scandinavian Linguistics and Deputy Director of the Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Robert Blackwood is Professor of French Sociolinguistics in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Liverpool, UK.