A time frame of critical/sensitive periods of language development

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148 Scopus citations


By a focus on three essential elements of language: phonology, semantics, and syntax, a time frame for critical/sensitive periods of language development is presented as a model of central auditory nervous system flexibility. Several studies support the hypothesis that the critical/sensitive period of phonology is from the 6th month of fetal life through the 12th month of infancy. Data indicate that the critical/sensitive periods for syntax run through the 4th year of life, and for semantics through the 15th or 16th year of life. The data indicate that there is a time dependent series of functions in sequence that is based on responsive adaptations made by the CNS to pyschophysical and electrophysiological stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-205
Number of pages4
JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997


  • critical/sensitive periods
  • language development
  • phonology
  • semantics
  • syntax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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