In this article it is claimed that there is a set of universal speech processing constraints which applies to all types of second language acquisition. These constraints define the range of possible hypotheses about the structure of the L2 which a learner can create at a given stage of development and cannot be overridden by formal instruction or by other alterations in the linguistic input.
These claims, however, do not imply that all types of language acquisition are identical or that teaching has no influence whatsoever on the way a second language develops in a formal context. It has been shown elsewhere (cf. Pienemann, 1984, 1985, 1987a) that under certain conditions teaching can influence formal L2 development. These demonstrable positive effects of teaching, however, remain inside the variational margin left open by the processing constraints.
The present paper reports on the interlanguage development of one learner of German as a second language, selected from a broader longitudinal study of one year’s duration. It was found that the learner’s word order development was identical to the natural development of German as a second language despite the progression intended in the teaching. A similar result was obtained in the development of verbal morphology. It is also shown that agreement marking is acquired at the same time as specific word order rules.
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Cited by 17 other publications
2011. Processability Theory and German Case Acquisition. Language Learning 61:2 ► pp. 455 ff.
1993. Sentence matching and processing in L2 development. Second Language Research 9:3 ► pp. 253 ff.
2013. Basic Dichotomies in Foreign Language Teaching and Learning: A Case of Formulaic Language. In Investigations in Teaching and Learning Languages [Second Language Learning and Teaching, ], ► pp. 35 ff.
Hulstijn, Jan H., Richard F. Young, Lourdes Ortega, Martha Bigelow, Robert DeKeyser, Nick C. Ellis, James P. Lantolf, Alison Mackey & Steven Talmy
2014. BRIDGING THE GAP. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 36:3 ► pp. 361 ff.
Lantolf, James P. & Xian Zhang
2015. Response to Pienemann's Critique of Zhang and Lantolf (2015). Language Learning 65:3 ► pp. 752 ff.
2006. Applied Cognitive Linguistics: The State of the Art and New Directions (M. Achard and S. Niemeier (eds.), Cognitive Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition, and Foreign Language Teaching). ENGLISH LINGUISTICS 23:2 ► pp. 534 ff.
2015. An Outline of Processability Theory and Its Relationship to Other Approaches to SLA. Language Learning 65:1 ► pp. 123 ff.
Pienemann, Manfred & Malcolm Johnston
1996. A brief history of processing approaches to SLA: reply to Mellow. Second Language Research 12:3 ► pp. 319 ff.
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