UG Approach to SLA - Universal Grammar Approaches to SLA:...

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Universal Grammar Approaches to SLA: McLaughlin (1987), Smith (2004). Dr. Swathi Vanniarajan LLD 270: Second Language Acquisition
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Developmental psycholinguistics is concerned with how linguistic structures arise and change over time as part of the learner’s mental grammar.
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Adjemian Interlanguages are natural languages and so whatever universal constraints that hold true for natural languages should hold true for interlanguages also. In other words, interlanguages should not contain structures that violate linguistic universals.
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Linguists’ approach to language acquisition Linguists argue input alone is not sufficient (poverty of stimulus argument) – UG provides the rest of the information Learnability hypothesis Input is limited UG supplies the blueprint as well as necessary materials for building grammar for a language There are subtle and complex principles and features of human languages that cannot be provided by the usual kind of input or even by the usual type of correction and explanation given to language learners there must be an innate and universal linguistic component within us that drives the language acquisition process UG provides information about what is not possible
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Two approaches to universal grammar Greenberg’s approach: typological universals Chomsky’s approach: properties of language and structure dependency rules (Universal grammar is a set of structural constraints – Parameters are a set of options – UG allows for various structural combinations from a set of options)
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Approaches based on Typological universals (Greenberg) Languages can be divided into different types depending on their configuration. The focus is on studying the differences (variations) between various language types.
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Approaches based on Typological universals (Greenberg) Absolute universals and non-absolute universals (tendencies) Absolute universals are statements such as all languages have vowels, nouns, etc. Non-absolute universals are tendencies such as languages that have case markings will tend to be non-configurational (flexible word order)
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Approaches based on Typological universals (Greenberg) I mplicational universals if x, then y: For example, if it is VSO language, then it has prepositions since there is no VSO language that does not have prepositions. Zobl (1984) proposes that the learning task is made easier by what he refers to as projection device according to which implicational rules are activated once one rule in a cluster of rules is acquired.
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Approaches based on Typological universals (Greenberg) I mplicational universals Accessibility hierarchy and markedness principle: for example: if 6, then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Unmarked features are thought to be less
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course LLD 270 at San Jose State University .

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UG Approach to SLA - Universal Grammar Approaches to SLA:...

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