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Meaning in second language acquisition

Meaning in second language acquisition
Meaning in second language acquisition
The article identifies the critical period issue as the fundamental research-generating question in second language acquisition (L2A) theory: namely, is there a critical period after which acquisition of a second language becomes impossible. Recent theoretical answers to this question are presented. A modular view of language architecture suggests that there may be different critical periods for different modules of the grammar and L2A of meaning involves acquiring interpretive mismatches at the L1-L2 syntax-semantics interfaces. In acquiring meaning, learners face two types of learning situations. One situation where the sentence syntax presents less difficulty but different pieces of functional morphology subsume different primitives of meaning is dubbed Simple Syntax—Complex Semantics. Another type of learning situation is exemplified in less frequent, dispreferred or syntactically complex sentences where the sentential semantics offers no mismatch; these are labelled Complex Syntax—Simple Semantics. Two studies representative of these learning situations are reviewed. A third study attests to the unimportance of explicit instruction with respect to some interpretive properties. Implications of these findings for the critical period issue are discussed. The three representative studies reviewed here and numerous other studies on the L2A of meaning point to no visible barrier to ultimate success in the acquisition of phrasal semantics.
978-3-11-025338-2
33
2753-2775
Walter De Gruyter
Slabakova, Roumyana
1bda11ce-ce3d-4146-8ae3-4a486b6f5bde
Maienborn, Claudia
Heusinger, Klaus von
Portner, Paul
Slabakova, Roumyana
1bda11ce-ce3d-4146-8ae3-4a486b6f5bde
Maienborn, Claudia
Heusinger, Klaus von
Portner, Paul

Slabakova, Roumyana (2012) Meaning in second language acquisition. In, Maienborn, Claudia, Heusinger, Klaus von and Portner, Paul (eds.) Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning. (Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft / Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science (HSK), 33, 3) Berlin, DE. Walter De Gruyter, pp. 2753-2775.

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

The article identifies the critical period issue as the fundamental research-generating question in second language acquisition (L2A) theory: namely, is there a critical period after which acquisition of a second language becomes impossible. Recent theoretical answers to this question are presented. A modular view of language architecture suggests that there may be different critical periods for different modules of the grammar and L2A of meaning involves acquiring interpretive mismatches at the L1-L2 syntax-semantics interfaces. In acquiring meaning, learners face two types of learning situations. One situation where the sentence syntax presents less difficulty but different pieces of functional morphology subsume different primitives of meaning is dubbed Simple Syntax—Complex Semantics. Another type of learning situation is exemplified in less frequent, dispreferred or syntactically complex sentences where the sentential semantics offers no mismatch; these are labelled Complex Syntax—Simple Semantics. Two studies representative of these learning situations are reviewed. A third study attests to the unimportance of explicit instruction with respect to some interpretive properties. Implications of these findings for the critical period issue are discussed. The three representative studies reviewed here and numerous other studies on the L2A of meaning point to no visible barrier to ultimate success in the acquisition of phrasal semantics.

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Handbook Semantics-ch.104-corrected.pdf - Author's Original
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Published date: December 2012
Organisations: Modern Languages

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Local EPrints ID: 355767
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/355767
ISBN: 978-3-11-025338-2
PURE UUID: f254cef1-0c57-406f-97fa-b1fa2ece6a8c
ORCID for Roumyana Slabakova: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5839-460X

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Date deposited: 05 Sep 2013 10:05
Last modified: 09 Apr 2019 00:31

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