‘Fascinating. . . This engaging book explores just how multiple languages are acquired and sorted out by the brain. . . Costa’s work derives from a great fund of knowledge, considerable curiosity and solidly scientific spirit’ Philip Hensher Spectator
The definitive study of bilingualism and the human brain from a leading neuropsychologist
Over half of the world’s population is bilingual and yet few of us understand how this extraordinary, complex ability really works. How do two languages co-exist in the same brain? What are the advantages and challenges of being bilingual? How do we learn – and forget – a language?
In the first study of its kind, leading expert Albert Costa shares twenty years of experience to explore the science of language. Looking at studies and examples from Canada to France to South Korea, The Bilingual Brain investigates the significant impact of bilingualism on daily life from infancy to old age. It reveals, among other things, how babies differentiate between two languages just hours after birth, how accent affects the way in which we perceive others and even why bilinguals are better at conflict resolution.
Drawing on cutting-edge neuro-linguistic research from his own laboratory in Barcelona as well from centres across the world, and his own bilingual family, Costa offers an absorbing examination of the intricacies and impact of an extraordinary skill. Highly engaging and hugely informative,The Bilingual Brain leaves us all with a sense of wonder at how language works.
Translated by John W. Schwieter