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Second language acquisition

Second language acquisition
Second language acquisition
Noam Chomsky’s ideas and work on the human language faculty and how language is acquired opened new territory on which a whole new framework in non-native language acquisition was established: generative SLA, or GenSLA (White, 1989, 2003). Research in this framework has brought fruitful and lasting discoveries and is thriving today. GenSLA researchers work with the hypothesis that the human mind functions in a similar way in language acquisition generally speaking, no matter whether a first or second language is acquired. This hypothesis is being put to the test with interesting results. The Galilean Challenge as formulated in Chomsky (2017) refers to the creativity of language, the wonder of the human ability to produce an infinite number of utterances that have never been heard or seen before. This creativity is very much in evidence in human beings who speak a second or additional language. In fact, investigating Chomsky’s principles and parameters within the GenSLA framework has brought additional and convincing evidence for the essential validity of Chomsky’s original insights. In the last fifty years, GenSLA researchers have demonstrated that linguistic universals deeply rooted in language design such as structure dependence are observed by L2 speakers no matter whether their native language exemplifies them. Inquiry into L2 parameters has been vigorous and L2 findings have sometimes foreshadowed changes in linguistic theory. Current endeavors have focused on features as a better manifestation of linguistic variation and as a more nimble explanation of L2 development. The most important development in GenSLA in the last decades has been the realization that no explanation of the L2A process can be complete without considering parsing, mental lexicon access and psycholinguistic concerns more generally, in other words, third-factor effects (Chomsky, 2005). In this chapter, I endeavor to highlight Chomsky’s lasting legacy embodied in the GenSLA framework of applied linguistics.
Wiley/Blackwell
Slabakova, Roumyana
1bda11ce-ce3d-4146-8ae3-4a486b6f5bde
Allott, Nicholas
Lohndal, Terje
Rey, Georges
Slabakova, Roumyana
1bda11ce-ce3d-4146-8ae3-4a486b6f5bde
Allott, Nicholas
Lohndal, Terje
Rey, Georges

Slabakova, Roumyana (2020) Second language acquisition. In, Allott, Nicholas, Lohndal, Terje and Rey, Georges (eds.) Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Chomsky. Wiley/Blackwell. (In Press)

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

Noam Chomsky’s ideas and work on the human language faculty and how language is acquired opened new territory on which a whole new framework in non-native language acquisition was established: generative SLA, or GenSLA (White, 1989, 2003). Research in this framework has brought fruitful and lasting discoveries and is thriving today. GenSLA researchers work with the hypothesis that the human mind functions in a similar way in language acquisition generally speaking, no matter whether a first or second language is acquired. This hypothesis is being put to the test with interesting results. The Galilean Challenge as formulated in Chomsky (2017) refers to the creativity of language, the wonder of the human ability to produce an infinite number of utterances that have never been heard or seen before. This creativity is very much in evidence in human beings who speak a second or additional language. In fact, investigating Chomsky’s principles and parameters within the GenSLA framework has brought additional and convincing evidence for the essential validity of Chomsky’s original insights. In the last fifty years, GenSLA researchers have demonstrated that linguistic universals deeply rooted in language design such as structure dependence are observed by L2 speakers no matter whether their native language exemplifies them. Inquiry into L2 parameters has been vigorous and L2 findings have sometimes foreshadowed changes in linguistic theory. Current endeavors have focused on features as a better manifestation of linguistic variation and as a more nimble explanation of L2 development. The most important development in GenSLA in the last decades has been the realization that no explanation of the L2A process can be complete without considering parsing, mental lexicon access and psycholinguistic concerns more generally, in other words, third-factor effects (Chomsky, 2005). In this chapter, I endeavor to highlight Chomsky’s lasting legacy embodied in the GenSLA framework of applied linguistics.

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Slabakova for Chomsky companion volume - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: January 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439355
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439355
PURE UUID: b0007337-7bb4-4f46-847d-6d1bf00d1ec6
ORCID for Roumyana Slabakova: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5839-460X

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Date deposited: 17 Apr 2020 16:30
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:22

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Contributors

Editor: Nicholas Allott
Editor: Terje Lohndal
Editor: Georges Rey

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