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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-44

Language processing in a bilingual child

1 Phoniatrics Unit, Otorhinolaryngology Department, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Phoniatrics Unit, Otorhinolaryngology Department, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
3 Phoniatrics Unit, Otorhinolaryngology Department, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt
4 Phoniatrics Unit, Otorhinolaryngology Department, Menoufi University, Ministry of Health, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Fatima M Al-Sharif
Tanta, El-Gharbia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mmj.mmj_151_18

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Objectives To review the language processing, 'central and linguistic processing,' in bilingual children. The age of second language acquisition, a factor which may impact language processing, was also reviewed. Data sources Medline databases (PubMed, Medscape, and Science Direct) using the terms 'bilingual' or 'bilingualism' with the word 'children' as the search criteria. The resulting materials available in the internet from 1980 to 2017 were further screened for the terms 'processing,' 'cognition,' or 'age of acquisition.' Study selection Our refined search included 124 articles and book's chapters out of which 83 met our selection criteria. Those data related to late bilingualism were excluded. Data extraction If the studies did not fulfill the inclusion criteria, they were excluded. Study quality assessment included whether ethical approval was gained, eligibility criteria specified, adequate information, and defined assessment measures were made. Data synthesis Significant data were collected. It was heterogeneous. Thus, a structured review was performed with the results tabulated. Conclusion An unresolved issue in bilingualism is how different languages are represented in the brain and which cognitive mechanisms are required to regulate their use. In learning a second language, the brain has to build on a neural network that enables the segregation of the new language from the native one. A bilingual child can create languages' activation and inhibitory links at the lexical and the morphological level and also can develop the ability to select a word and its syntactic characters correctly.

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