Encyclopedia of Language and Literacy Development
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Glossary (A - Z)
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L1
Shorthand for referring to someone's first or native language. Generally used in contrast to L2, the second language or the language a person is learning.
L2
 See L1.
Language typology
The specific characteristics associated with each language family.
Lateral extrastriate region
A region of the brain which sits next to the primary visual cortex; thought to be involved in response to visual stimuli.
Lateralization
Production of a sound with inappropriate airflow down the side or sides of the tongue. 
Learned repetitive phrases
Frequently-occurring phrases, often expressions, which the child has learned but can use inappropriately.
Left hemisphere
The left symmetrical half of the cerebrum, as divided by the longitudinal cerebral fissure. It is involved in such functions as language, math and logic.
Left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG)
A fold or ridge on the surface of the brain that plays a key role in reading and visual word recognition.
Left inferior temporal area
A region of the brain thought to be involved in high-level auditory processing.
Left parietal temporal area
A region encompassing part of two of the four lobes of the brain which plays a role in spatial processing and verbal memory.
Left temporal cortex
A region in the brain associated with verbal memory.
Left-to-right algorithmic approach
A defined series of steps to accomplish a result; a predetermined method of moving from left to right to complete mathematical operations.
Lesion
An area that has been damaged by injury or disease.
Lesion studies
Studies of particular areas that have been damaged by injury and disease.
Lexical
Of or relating to words or the vocabulary of a language as distinguished from its grammar and construction.
Lexical compounding
The process of combining words to create a new phrase (i.e., ice cream).
Lexical development
The development of vocabulary.
Lexical goals
The targets for vocabulary development.
Lexical tone
The distinctive pitch level carried by the syllable of a word which is an essential feature of the meaning of that word. Present in Chinese but not in English.
Lexicalizing
Converting to a single lexical unit, as a group of words with meaning beyond their parts.
Limbic system
A set of brain structures including the hippocampus, amygdala, anterior thalamic nuclei, and limbic cortex, which support a variety of functions including emotion, behaviour, long-term memory, and olfaction.
Linguistic
Relating to the nature, structure, and variation of language.
Linguistic awareness
Awareness of the nature, structure, and variation of language.
Linguistic imperialism
The imposition of a dominant language on a people.
Linguistic interference
When second language learners apply knowledge from their first language to their second language.
Linguistic knowledge
Knowledge of the nature, structure, and variation of language.
Linguistic system
A language-based system of communication.
Linguistic theory
Theory regarding the structure and meaning of language.
Liquid
A linguistic category for a type of consonants that includes the sounds produced in English by the letters [l] and [r] (e.g., in words such as 'led' and 'red').
Literacy
In the narrower sense, literacy includes the reading, writing, and numeracy skills that people need to have to cope with everyday tasks. In the broader sense, it encompasses multiple literacies (computer, environmental, visual, media, economic, and scientific literacy) needed to succeed in a knowledge economy.
Literature review
An article that reviews several studies, and can be used to describe and compare different types of interventions. However, this approach is limited by differences between studies (e.g., measures, group sizes, subject age, length/intensity of intervention).
Lobes
The four divisions of the brain (frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal).
Locative preposition
Preposition denoting location (i.e., 'in', 'on', 'near', etc.).
Logarithmic pattern
Pattern in which for every increase of 1 there is an increase in real terms by a factor of 10.
Logographic system
A system in which symbols (characters) primarily represent morphemes or whole words rather than consonants or vowels (e.g., Chinese uses a logographic orthography wherein characters represent syllables and morphemes rather than phonemes, as in alphabetic languages. Thus, the letter-sound correspondence that exists in alphabetic languages such as English does not apply to Chinese).
Long-term memory
A system for permanently storing, managing, and retrieving information for later use.
Longitudinal
A type of research conducted over a period of time following the same individuals; allows researchers to determine the effect of something or the outcome over a period of months to many years.
Longitudinal intervention studies
Studies that observe outcomes of an intervention over long periods of time.
Longitudinal relations
The relationships between components of a study over a period of time.