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SLA --- AN Introductory Course Prof. Wen Weiping College of Foreign Languages SLA --- AN Introductory Course Prof. Wen Weiping College of Foreign Languages.

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Presentation on theme: "SLA --- AN Introductory Course Prof. Wen Weiping College of Foreign Languages SLA --- AN Introductory Course Prof. Wen Weiping College of Foreign Languages."— Presentation transcript:

1 SLA --- AN Introductory Course Prof. Wen Weiping College of Foreign Languages SLA --- AN Introductory Course Prof. Wen Weiping College of Foreign Languages

2 Lecture 4 Universal Grammar 1. A quick review of TG grammar 2. Two approaches to linguistic universals 3. UG ( principles and parameters ) 4. The rationali for Universal Grammar ( the poverty of the stimulus argument ) 5. Linguistic universals and L1 acquisition 6. Access to UG in SLA

3 1. A quick review of TG grammar 4 stages of TG theory Syntax-structure theory Standard theory/Extended-standard theory Government/binding theory The minimalist theory

4 1st stage – Features: – 1). Emphasis on generative ability of language – 2). Introduction of transformational rules – 3). Grammatical description regardless of meaning –

5 3 sets of rules: --- phrase structure rules --- transformational rules --- phonological rules

6 TG grammar --- rules internalist view linguistic creativity Ideally a grammatical description of a language should comprise rules that will generate possible, grammatically acceptable, sentences.

7 2nd stage standard theory extended standard theory revised extended standard theory remarkable changes: 1) semantics ---- focus 2) the distinction of deep structure & surface structure 3) the distribution of syntactic elements was changed

8 tendency: the reduction of transformational components/transformational rules a single rule --- move

9 3rd stage 3rd stage Government and binding theory research interest: universal grammar GB --- two components of universal core grammar rule-orientation principle-orientation

10 GB --- network of subtheories binding theory bounding theory case theory -theory x-bar theory adjacency parameter pro-drop parameter

11 4th stage The minimalist approach two related questions: 1). What are the general conditions that the human faculty should be expected to satisfy? 2). To what extent is the language faclty determined by these conditions, without a special structure that lies beyond them?

12 2. Two approaches to linguistic universals --- two approaches universal grammar ( Chomsky ) identify linguistic universals by the in- depth study of a single language typological universals ( Greenberg ) identify universals by examining a wide range of languages

13 --- typology classification of languages into types phonetic typology some groups: similar ranges of sounds other groups: differ widely in types of sound the main articulatory positions the main articulatory processes employed in all or almost all languages but marked phonetic differences are found

14 phonological typology classifications how sounds and sound features are organized into phonological systems & syllable structures tone languages non-tonal languages

15 grammatical typology classifications the predominant characteristics of their grammatical systems word order & word class --- markers of syntactic relationships and sentence structures two extremes one: rely entirely on word order & word class the other: word order is relatively free some in between: e.g. English French, German

16 word order typological criteria for classification SVO SOV SVO: Modern English, French, German SOV: Japanese, Turkish

17 structural typology threefold division of languages isolating/analytic agglutinative fusional/inflecting --- isolating language a language in which word forms do not change, and in which grammatical functions are shown by word order and the use of function words e.g.

18 --- agglutinative language a language in which varies affixes may be added to the stem of a word to add to its meaning or to show its grammatical function e.g. wametulipa ( Swahili ) wa me tu lipa they + perfective marker + us + pay typical agglutinative languages Finnish, Hungarian, Swahili, Turkish

19 --- inflecting language a language in which the form of a word changes to show a change in meaning or grammatical function. e.g. mice ( = mouse + plural ) came ( = come + past tense ) typical inflecting languages Greek, Latin analytical isolating languages agglutinative synthetic inflecting

20 --- comparison of the two approaches twofold relationship the conception of universals the internalist vs the externalist approaches to the study of language as a human capability and activity language learning: human capability mental faculty biologically inherited internal mechanism linguistic universals can be inferred from the examination of a few or even of one language, as a working hypothesis to be tested, but to be accepted until falsified

21 language learning: human activity existing data analysis & comparison universals universal grammar --- hypothetical typological universals --- inductive

22 3. UG ( principles and parameters ) --- principles highly abstract properties of grammar which apply to language in general and which, therefore, underlie the grammatical rules of all specific languages. --- parameters principles that vary in certain restricted ways from one language to another.

23 --- analogy (driving a car and principles & parameters) principle: drivers have to keep consistently to one side of the road parameter of driving: two values or setting left and right principle universal requirement on driving parameter specifies the variation between countries

24 --- Example principle of structure-dependency language is organized in such a way that it crucially depends on the structural relationships between elements in a sentence ( such as words, morphemes ). ( 1 ) She bought a new car yesterday. ( 2 ) My friend bought a new car yesterday. ( 3 ) The friend that I met in Australia last year bought a new car yesterday. ( 4 ) The friend I am closest to and who was so supportive when I lost my job two years ago bought a new car yesterday.

25 A parameter to do with language structure ( head parameter ) the position of head in relation to its complement within phrases two positions: head first/head last --- head first e.g. the girl with blue trousers (NP) hit the girl (VP) with blue trousers (PP)

26 --- head last e.g. E wa kabe ni kakatte imasu ( picture wall on is hanging ) The picture is hanging on the wall. head verb: kakatte imasu verb complement: kabe ni prep: ni prep. Complement: kabe

27 4. The rationali for universal grammar The poverty of the stimulus: the child cannot possibly arrive at a grammar of the target language on the basis of input data alone UG model --- LA in a logical sense a black box problem the process concealed inside the black box itself

28 e.g. See barley & empty bottles one door of a distillery bottles of Scotch whisky the other door Deduce whats going on inside to get whisky similarly primary linguistic data LAD generative grammar LAD Deduce whats going on inside the childs LAD

29 input LAD output the LAD model of L1 acquisition ( 1964 ) input U G output the UG model of L1 acquisition ( 1990s )

30 conumdrum called Platos problem at the heart of Chomskyan ideas of LA: How do we come to have such rich and specific knowledge, or such intricate systems of belief and understanding, when the evidence available to us is so meagre? Chomsky, 1987

31 the poverty of the stimulus argument the data in the stimulus are too thin to justify the knowledge that is built out of them. a native speaker of a particular language knows a particular aspect of syntax this aspect of syntax could not have been acquired from the language input typically available to him this aspect of syntax is not learned from outside this aspect of syntax is built-in to the mind

32 5. Linguistic Universals and L1 acquisition U G the logical problem of LA the developmental problem logical problem the child needs to be constrained from forming incorrect hypothesis RECONSIDERATION of hypothesis testing two interpretations: 1st interpretation: inductive procedures 2nd interpretation: constrained by U G

33 developmental problem two questions raised: 1. Where do the unique constructions so characteristic of LA come from? 2. Why do children move from one stage to the next? Development vs acquisition Development: real-time learning of a language influenced by UG channel capacity product of maturation

34 Acquisition: language learning unaffected by maturation, dependent entirely on learners language faculty the evolving linguistic competence

35 Two different views on UG --- Whites view: UG is available to the child from the start. Non-lilnguistic factors limit the childs ability to perceive and to produce particular sentence type --- Felixs view: the language faculty is not complete at the start, it develops along with other codnitive abilities

36 6. Access to Universal Grammar in SLA 1. The complete access view Flynn ( 1984, 1987 ) parameter-setting model parameter setting in L1 & L2: same learning is facilitated parameter setting in L1 & L2: different learning is impeded

37 Adult L2 learners have access to the same language faculty as L1 learners Like L1 learners, L2 learners possess grammatical knowledge that could not have been learnt purely on the basis of input L2 learners possess knowledge that is structure-dependent They exhibit the same infinite productivity of new sentences as L1 learners Assumption: L2 learners will be able to attain full linguistic competence; there is no critical period blocking L2 acquisition

38 2. No-access view Clashen & Muysken, 1986; Meisel, 1991 two related claims: --- Adult L2 acquisition is very different from L1 acquisition --- L1 learners make use of language faculty L2 learners resort to general learning strategies Assumption: L2 = L1 acquisition; adults fail to achieve full linguistic competence; wild grammars can occur

39 3. Partial-access view Learners may have access to linguistic principles, but not to the full range of parametric variation. --- Adult learners will not manifest wild grammar because they are constrained by UG grammar --- They will not be able to acquire the L2 values of parameters when these differ from L1 Assumption: L2 and L1 acquisition are the same in part; adults fail to achieve full linguistic competence; no will grammars are evident

40 4. A dual-access view Felix ( 1985 ): competition model Adults have continued access to UG but also make use of a general problem solving module/ system which competes with the language specific system problem-solving module interferes with UG Assumption: L2 = L1 acquisition in part; adults fail to achieve full linguistic competence; adults manifest similar and different linguistic behaviour to children

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