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Tali (Avital) Bitan



Effects of age and sleep on learning regular and irregular morphological rules

Grant Type: Young Investigator Grant, Second Year
Institute: Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Haifa

We examine differences between adults and children in mechanisms underlying second language acquisition using plural inflections in an artificial language. We measure the effect of sleep, on the preservation of the acquired knowledge after the end of training. We also ask whether specific sleep stages contribute differently to preservation of different linguistic rules, e.g. frequent or rare plural inflections. We expect children to show higher preservation of learning and less dependence on sleep compared to adults, despite showing altogether lower performance. These results would support our hypothesis that children and adults rely on different learning mechanisms in second language acquisition.