Presentation on theme: "CLL lecture: Theoretical issues in SLA research 12 October 2004 Florencia Franceschina."— Presentation transcript:
CLL lecture: Theoretical issues in SLA research 12 October 2004 Florencia Franceschina
Learnability Q1: How is it possible for humans (but not animals or machines) to learn to understand and produce sentences of the language(s) they are exposed to?
Approaches to Q1 Interactionist/sociocultural models e.g., Schumann s (1978) Acculturation/Pidginization Hypothesis Cognitive models e.g., Bates and MacWhinney s (1985, 1989) Competition Model UG-based models e.g., White (1989, 2003), Flynn et al. (1998), Schwartz (1998), Archibald (2000), Herschensson (2000), Balcom (2001), Hawkins (2001)
Evidence for UG in FLA FLA is: Quick Effortless Uniform across stages of acquisition Robust in terms of noisy/variable input It shows equipotentiality across learners
Evidence for UG in FLA Poverty of the Stimulus (PoS): our linguistic knowledge is underdetermined by the input Example 1: Structure Dependence Principle Example 2: OPC
Structure Dependence Principle This is my catIs this my cat? Paws has drunk his milkHas Paws drunk his milk? My cat is the bestCat my is the best?
Overt Pronoun Constraint (1) John believes [that he is intelligent] English Japanese (2) John believes [that _ is intelligent] English Japanese Montalbetti (1984) Kanno (1997)
Overt Pronoun Constraint Japanese (1) John i believes [that he i/j is intelligent] (2) John i believes [that _ i/j is intelligent] (3) Everyone i believes [that they j are intelligent] OPC (4) Everyone i believes [that _ i/j are intelligent]
UG, principles and parameters The aspects of I-language which are common to all of us are known as UG, and the theory of UG will state the commonalities that hold across all possible languages (often called principles of UG) and in what ways individual I- languages may diverge from these commonalities (known as parameters of variation of UG or just parameters). Adger (2003: 16)
Evidence for UG in SLA? Target-like outcomes are the norm in FLA Vs. Non-target-like outcomes are typical in SLA
Accounts of divergent outcomes Account 1: No access to UG Clahsen and Muysken (1986) Schachter (1988) Fundamental Difference Hypothesis (Bley-Vroman, 1990)
Accounts of divergent outcomes Account 2: Full access to UG Flynn (1987) Epstein, Flynn and Martohardjono (1996) Scharwtz and Sprouse (1996)
Accounts of divergent outcomes Account 3: Partial access to UG Smith and Tsimpli (1995)
Accounts of divergent outcomes More recent proposals: Account 2 : Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis (MSIH, Prevost and White, 2001) Account 3 : Failed Functional Features Hypothesis (FFFH, Hawkins and Chan, 1997)
A case study: Patty Consider the case of Patty (Lardiere, 1998a, b) 1. Which of the two recent accounts is supported by the data? 2. What other information about Patty s L2 knowledge would be useful to help us reach a definite conclusion?
The initial state Account 1: Full Transfer/Full Access (FT/FA, Schwartz and Sprouse, 1994, 1996) Account 2: Minimal Trees (Vainikka and Young-Scholten, 1994, 1996)
Reading Mitchell, R. and F. Myles 1998: Second language learning theories. London: Arnold. Hawkins, R. 2001: Second language syntax. A generative introduction. Oxford: Blackwell. (Chapter 8) White, L. 2003: Second language acquisition and Universal Grammar. (2nd edition) Cambridge: CUP. (Chapter 2)