Chapter published in:Three Streams of Generative Language Acquisition Research: Selected papers from the 7th Meeting of Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition – North America, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Edited by Tania Ionin and Matthew Rispoli
[Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 63] 2019
► pp. 319–346
The Bottleneck Hypothesis updated
The Bottleneck Hypothesis identifies parts of the grammar that are easier or more difficult to acquire in a second language. It argues that the functional morphology is the bottleneck in L2 acquisition because it bundles a variety of semantic, syntactic and phonological features that affect the meaning and acceptability of the whole sentence. In this chapter, the BH is updated after a decade since its proposal. Current views of Universal Grammar and parametric variation are outlined. Implications of those current views for adult L2A are spelled out. New evidence for the BH is reviewed from the L2A of semantics, morphophonology and syntax. Additional factors that complicate acquisition of the functional morphology are discussed and a pyramid of L2A difficulty is proposed.
Keywords: second language acquisition, Bottleneck Hypothesis, functional morphology, syntax, semantics, syntax-discourse interface, features, parameters, lexicon, hierarchy of acquisition difficulty
- 2.Current views of UG and parametric variation
- 3.Adult L2A: Assumptions and predictions
- 4.Evidence from the acquisition of syntax
- 5.Evidence from acquisition of semantics
- 6.Complicating factors
- 6.1Morphosyntax-semantics mismatches
- 6.2Feature reassembly
- 6.3Functional redundancy
- 6.5Construction frequency
- 7.Discussion and conclusions
Published online: 15 April 2019
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