The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

What is easy and what is hard to acquire in a second language?

What is easy and what is hard to acquire in a second language?
What is easy and what is hard to acquire in a second language?
In looking at differential difficulties at the different linguistic modules and interfaces, this paper argues for the Bottleneck Hypothesis (Slabakova 2008). It is argued that narrow syntactic knowledge comes before accurate knowledge of morphology in production and comprehension of a second language. Functional morphology is uniformly hard: it is harder for low-educated native speakers than for non-native speakers. In processing complex syntax, low-educated native speakers who have had little exposure to complex constructions may be at a disadvantage compared to non-native speakers. It is also argued that once the inflectional morphology is learned, learners are aware of all its semantic consequences, taught and untaught. Even at the syntax-discourse interface, acquisition of properties unavailable from the L1 is possible. At the semantics-pragmatics interface, L2 learners transfer universal properties like Gricean maxims. The rationale of the Bottleneck Hypothesis is as follows: (1) inflectional morphology reflects syntactic and semantic differences between languages; (2) narrow syntactic operations and meaning calculation are universal; (3) in order to acquire syntax and meaning in a second language, the learner has to go through the inflectional morphology; (4) hence, morphology is the bottleneck of acquisition.
978-1-57473-434-8
10
280-294
Cascadilla Proceedings Project
Slabakova, Roumyana
1bda11ce-ce3d-4146-8ae3-4a486b6f5bde
Bowles, Melissa
Ionin, Tania
Montrul, Silvina
Tremblay, Annie
Slabakova, Roumyana
1bda11ce-ce3d-4146-8ae3-4a486b6f5bde
Bowles, Melissa
Ionin, Tania
Montrul, Silvina
Tremblay, Annie

Slabakova, Roumyana (2010) What is easy and what is hard to acquire in a second language? Bowles, Melissa, Ionin, Tania, Montrul, Silvina and Tremblay, Annie (eds.) In Proceedings of the 10th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2009). Cascadilla Proceedings Project. pp. 280-294 .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

In looking at differential difficulties at the different linguistic modules and interfaces, this paper argues for the Bottleneck Hypothesis (Slabakova 2008). It is argued that narrow syntactic knowledge comes before accurate knowledge of morphology in production and comprehension of a second language. Functional morphology is uniformly hard: it is harder for low-educated native speakers than for non-native speakers. In processing complex syntax, low-educated native speakers who have had little exposure to complex constructions may be at a disadvantage compared to non-native speakers. It is also argued that once the inflectional morphology is learned, learners are aware of all its semantic consequences, taught and untaught. Even at the syntax-discourse interface, acquisition of properties unavailable from the L1 is possible. At the semantics-pragmatics interface, L2 learners transfer universal properties like Gricean maxims. The rationale of the Bottleneck Hypothesis is as follows: (1) inflectional morphology reflects syntactic and semantic differences between languages; (2) narrow syntactic operations and meaning calculation are universal; (3) in order to acquire syntax and meaning in a second language, the learner has to go through the inflectional morphology; (4) hence, morphology is the bottleneck of acquisition.

PDF
GASLA10Proceedings.pdf - Version of Record
Download (673kB)

More information

Published date: 2010
Venue - Dates: 10th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2009), United States, 2009-03-13 - 2009-03-15
Organisations: Modern Languages and Linguistics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 357364
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/357364
ISBN: 978-1-57473-434-8
PURE UUID: 1957795a-29e4-48d5-ac82-db235583f269
ORCID for Roumyana Slabakova: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5839-460X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Sep 2013 13:33
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:24

Export record

Contributors

Editor: Melissa Bowles
Editor: Tania Ionin
Editor: Silvina Montrul
Editor: Annie Tremblay

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×