Can Adults Become Genuinely Bilingual?

Abstract

The variety of languages in the world is considered a curse by some, who view the phenomenon as a Tower of Babel. Others consider it the most characteristic quality of human language as opposed to animal languages, which are supposedly species specific. The variety is viewed as a symptom of human caprice, arbitrariness, or dependence on mere historical accident by some; and as a symptom of human freedom and of the creative aspect of language by others. And, of course, the human limitation caused by the variety of languages and the peculiarities of traditions within languages, as instanced by Sir Winston Churchill's The History of the English Speaking People, are again viewed by different thinkers from different philosophical viewpoints

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Joseph Agassi
York University

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