Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Academic Paper

Title: The Use of Native Speaker Norms in Critical Period Hypothesis Research
Author: Sible Andringa
Institution: University of Amsterdam
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics
Subject Language: Dutch
Abstract: In critical period hypothesis (CPH) research, native speaker (NS) norm groups have often been used to determine whether nonnative speakers (NNSs) were able to score within the NS range of scores. One goal of this article is to investigate what NS samples were used in previous CPH research. The literature review shows that NS control groups tend to be small and highly educated and that detailed background information is usually not provided. Another goal of this article is to investigate how the NS norm group may affect the incidence of nativelike performance by NNSs. To this end, 124 NSs and 118 NNSs of Dutch completed five comprehension tasks and a vocabulary task. On the basis of mean scores and standard deviations, norms were determined for a representative and a nonrepresentative (highly educated) subsample of NSs. Also, separate norms were constructed for the high- and low-frequency items within a task. Exact McNemar tests were used to establish that the incidence of nativelike performance by NNSs was significantly higher if a representative sample norm was used. The results also showed that, insofar as there were effects of frequency, norms based on low-frequency test items tended to be more inclusive. The results imply that the selection of NSs in CPH research deserves more consideration than it has received in the past; they also suggest that NS ceiling performance is potentially useful in determining nativelike performance.


This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 36, Issue 3.

Return to TOC.

Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page