Understanding Interfaces

Second language acquisition and first language attrition of Spanish subject realization and word order variation

| University of Southampton
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027253170 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027271990 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
 
By combining theoretical analysis and empirical investigation, this monograph investigates the status of interfaces in Minimalist linguistic theory, second language acquisition and native language attrition. Two major questions are currently under debate: (1) what exactly makes a linguistic phenomenon an ‘interface phenomenon’, and (2) what is the specific role that the interfaces play in explaining language loss and persistent problems in second language acquisition? Answers to these questions are provided by a theoretical examination of the role that economy and computational efficiency play in recent Minimalist models of the language faculty, as well as by evidence obtained in two empirical studies examining the acquisition and attrition of two interface phenomena: Spanish subject realization and word order variation. The result is a new definition of ‘interface phenomena’ which deemphasizes syntactic complexity and focuses on the effect of interface interpretive conditions on syntactic structure. This work also shows that representational deficits cannot be ruled out in the acquisition and attrition of interface structures.
[Language Acquisition and Language Disorders, 55]  2013.  xx, 267 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
List of figures
ix
List of tables
xi–xii
Abbreviations
xiii–xv
Abstract
xvii
Acknowledgements
xix–xx
1. Linguistic interfaces and the architecture of the language faculty
1–23
2. Clause structure, subject positions and word order variation in Spanish
25–76
3. Linguistic interfaces in second language acquisition research
77–101
4. Subject realization and word order variation in non-native Spanish
103–164
5. Subject realization and word order variation in adult bilingual grammars under attrition
165–209
6. Summary of findings and implications
211–227
References
229–262
Name index
263–264
Subject index
265–268
“This book is a wonderful example of how combining data sets across different types of learning groups, in this case mainly adult second language learners and native-language attriters, demonstrates more combined than the data sets do in isolation. Domínguez’s impressive and exhaustive analysis is based on formal linguistic theory. She does an exceptional job of covering the history of studies on subject realization and word order variation, mainly in Spanish, providing new data from carefully designed methodologies that together challenge seemingly accepted norms. She argues effectively that the sum total of available data, including her own, do not seem to lend unambiguous support to the Interface Hypothesis, showing, alternatively, that non-native acquisition and native-language attrition are complex phenomena that cannot be captured simply by postulating that the interface between syntax and its discourse interpretability is the sole or default domain of inherently difficulty. She offers a revised view of “interface” problems, which leads us away from syntactic complexity and focuses, rather, on the interpretive conditions for syntactic representation. This view seemingly can account for issues noted in the literature, e.g. where they are predicted to not obtain as is the clear case of narrow syntactic native attrition in adulthood. This is a must have book for anyone interested in adult acquisition and attrition, irrespective of the particular language focus of one’s research.”
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Subjects
BIC Subject: CFDM – Bilingualism & multilingualism
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2013006281 | Marc record