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SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

PROPERTIES OF
INTERLANGUAGE SYSTEMS

SEMANTIC

ASSIGNMENT

Lectured by:
Dr. JUPRI, M.Pd.

Complied by:
ARIA SUPENDI
18511005

FACULTY OF EDUCATION FOR LANGUAGE AND ARTS

MATARAM INSTITUTE OF TEACHER TRAINING AND EDUCATION

2019/2020
TABLE OF CONTENT

PAGE
I. INTRODUCTION………………………………………………....

II. THE LEXICON…………………………………....………………

III. SEMANITC…………………………………………………………..

IV. DISCOURSE AND PRAGMATICS……………………………...

V. MORPHOSINTAX…………………………………………..........

VI. PHONOLOGY AND SPEECH……………………………….......


INTRODUCTION
Second Language Acquisition (SLA) refers both to the study of individuals
and groups who are learning a language subsequent to learning their first one as
young children, and to the process of learning that language. The additional language
is called a second language (L2), even though it may actually be the third, fourth, or
tenth to be acquired. It is also commonly called a target language (TL), which refers
to any language that is the aim or goal of learning.
When you were still a very young child, you began acquiring at least one
language – what linguists call your L1 – probably without thinking much about it, and
with very little conscious effort or awareness. Since that time, you may have acquired
an additional language – your L2 – possibly also in the natural course of having the
language used around you, but more likely with the same conscious effort needed to
acquire other domains of knowledge in the process of becoming an “educated”
individual.
An interlanguage is an idiolect that has been developed by a learner of a second
language (or L2) which preserves some features of their first language (or L1), and
can also overgeneralize some L2 writing and speaking rules. These two characteristics
of an interlanguage result in the system's unique linguistic organization.

A lexicon, word-hoard, wordbook, or word-stock is the vocabulary of a


person, language, or branch of knowledge (such as nautical or medical). In linguistics,
a lexicon is a language's inventory of lexemes. The word "lexicon" derives from the
Greek λεξικόν (lexicon), neuter of λεξικός (lexikos) meaning "of or for words."

Linguistic theories generally regard human languages as consisting of two


parts: a lexicon, essentially a catalogue of a language's words (its wordstock); and a
grammar, a system of rules which allow for the combination of those words into
meaningful sentences. The lexicon is also thought to include bound morphemes,
which cannot stand alone as words (such as most affixes).

Semantics is scientific of study dealing meaning. Semantics is the linguistic


and philosophical study of meaning in language, programming languages, formal
logics, and semiotics. It is concerned with the relationship between signifiers—like
words, phrases, signs, and symbols—and what they stand for in reality, their
denotation.

Discourse is a conceptual generalization of conversation within each modality


and context of communication. As discourse, an "enouncement" (statement) is not a
unit of semiotic signs, but an abstract construct that allows the semiotic signs to
assign meaning, and so communicate specific, repeatable communications to,
between, and among objects, subjects, and statements. Therefore, a discourse is
composed of semiotic sequences (relations among signs that communicate meaning)
between and among objects, subjects, and statements.

Pragmatics is a subfield of linguistics and semiotics that studies the ways in


which context contributes to meaning. Pragmatics encompasses speech act theory,
conversational implicature, talk in interaction and other approaches to language
behavior in philosophy, sociology, linguistics and anthropology.[1] Unlike semantics,
which examines meaning that is conventional or "coded" in a given language,
pragmatics studies how the transmission of meaning depends not only on structural
and linguistic knowledge (e.g., grammar, lexicon, etc.) of the speaker and listener, but
also on the context of the utterance,[2] any pre-existing knowledge about those
involved, the inferred intent of the speaker, and other factors.[3] In this respect,
pragmatics explains how language users are able to overcome apparent ambiguity,
since meaning relies on the manner, place, time, etc. of an utterance.

Morphosyntax is the study of the interaction of morphology and syntax.


Morphosyntax is another word for grammar. Grammar can be divided into
morphology and syntax. Morphology is the study of words and their rules of
formation. And syntax is the study of sentences and their rules of
formation. Essentially, morphology and syntax are studies of the same thing –
formation rules of a language – but at differing “levels”.

Phonology and Speech. Phonology is scientific study of language dealing


with speech sound. Phonology is a branch of linguistics concerned with the
systematic organization of sounds in spoken languages and signs in sign languages.
And Speech is human vocal communication using language.
THE LEXICON

A lexicon, word-hoard, wordbook, or word-stock is the vocabulary of a person,


language, or branch of knowledge (such as nautical or medical). In linguistics, a
lexicon is a language's inventory of lexemes. The word "lexicon" derives from the
Greek λεξικόν (lexicon), neuter of λεξικός (lexikos) meaning "of or for words."

As Wilkins (1972: 111) puts it, “without grammar very little can be
conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed.”

The task of learning a foreign language lexicon adequate for use may be a
considerable one but, nonetheless, many learners do master it and become fluent.
What is it they are learning, and how do they become successful and develop such
extensive knowledge? The main themes dealt with in this chapter, and in this order,
are:
 Words: what a word is and how words are counted.
 What it means to know a word: incidental versus intentional learning of the
lexicon.
 How words are acquired: the relationship between input and uptake.
 How words are stored and retrieved for use

1. Types of vocabulary knowledge and lexical storage

In order to understand the process of learning the words that comprise a


lexicon, it is essential to understand what is being learned and how learners
manipulate word knowledge.

The conclusion to be drawn from this is that in acquiring a second language


lexicon which will allow a learner to function fluently and appropriately, the learner
will have to acquire a very large number of words and use them with some
sophistication. This leads to a number of questions: how many words need to be
acquired and which words should they be, how fast can they be acquired, and what
are the processes of exposure and learning which can optimize the learning process?
2. Norms of vocabulary growth
Learners in (EFL in Greece) appear on average to add lemmatized words to their
lexicon fairly regularly at about five words per teaching hour. Even if it can be
concluded that learners will optimally acquire vocabulary in an environment of
regular and carefully graduated lexical input in class, these figures for progress appear
to confirm that acquiring a lexicon is a lengthy process which must, it seems, involve
thousands of hours of work. This raises the question of what the language input
should be to expedite vocabulary learning in an instructed context.
3. How words are acquired
The acquisition of a second language lexicon appears to involve the learning of words
where learners have a good idea that they consist of base forms that may be altered by
rules. Knowledge and application of these rules, of the inflections and derivations that
a word can have, is extended as learning progresses. Estimates of the growth of the
lexicon suggest that a size approaching some 10,000 lemmatized words, at least in
English, is required if a learner is to become highly proficient.
a. Input and uptake of vocabulary
Terminology in this area makes a clear distinction between input and uptake in
learning (see Chapters 10 and 30, this volume). Uptake is the volume and
proportion of the input available to learners from the environment that is
successfully processed and to some extend taken in and acquired so it can be
recognized and used in communication. Vocabulary input, is a more complex
notion and is not necessarily the sum of the words that are presented in the
textbook or the classroom (or outside the classroom).
b. Frequency, repetition and vocabulary learning
One of the most important factors in modeling how a foreign language lexicon
is built is our understanding of the relationship between frequency of
occurrence and word learning.
c. Incidental and explicit learning
d. One of the most important factors in modeling how a foreign language lexicon
is built is our understanding of the relationship between frequency of
occurrence and word learning.
e. The previous sections have suggested how large a second language speaker’s
lexicon needs to be and the rate at which it is typically learned. As noted
above, even learners in good learning situations appear to add words to
their lexicons at a comparatively modest five words per classroom hour.
Since classroom hours are so limited but the size of the lexicon is so large,
this has led to an assumption by some writers that the majority of words
must be acquired outside the classroom, and that the impact of classroom
teaching on the lexicon is relatively small.
f. Focus on form and processing load
There is an argument that all successful vocabulary learning has to be explicit,
given some of the features which are necessary for any learning to take place
at all. Input is not all the vocabulary in the environment, therefore, but only
what is noticed in some way. Laufer and Hulstijn (2001: 3) draw attention to
Schmidt’s (2001) noticing hypothesis since “attention . . . appears to play a
crucial role in both implicit and explicit language learning” (2001:
9). It is not enough for a learner to be surrounded by meaningful language. As
Laufer (2005: 223) argues, meaningful input might be a requirement of
language learning, but is insufficient for acquiring vocabulary; focus on form
is an additional essential component of successful learning. The learner must
pay deliberate attention to a new word; note its form, its context and the
possibilities of its meaning.
SEMANTIC
Semantics is scientific of study dealing meaning. Semantics is the linguistic and
philosophical study of meaning in language, programming languages, formal logics,
and semiotics.

Semantic interpretation involves an interface between purely formal morphosyntactic


knowledge and a semantic component of the mind involving the ability to
conceptualize complex mental notions including individuals, events, situations, time
intervals.
1. Ways of developing semantic knowledge
Studying L2 semantic development first requires a solid understanding of what is at
stake in acquisition. Aspects of form–meaning mappings in vocabulary learning
might be the subject of instruction or be extracted from speech situations via
induction and analogical extension from a known pattern.
2. Acquiring new ways of referring
The acquisition of new mappings between words and their meanings requires among
other things the learner’s re-assignment of semantic values to morphological
realizations of the category D (Determiner). Expressions can refer extensionally to
entities in a particular situation but also intensionally to entities across situations.
3. Result and process nominals
Morphosyntactic parameterization below the category D can also have a significant
effect on reference. This was first illustrated in French by Dekydtspotter, Sprouse and
Anderson (1997) and further discussed in Dekydtspotter, Anderson and Sprouse
(2007). In French, a so-called dyadic noun such as d´ emonstration “proof” in (6)
allows both a complement du th´ eor` eme “of the theorem” and an agent le
professeur that may be introduced by the preposition par “by” as in (6a) or by the
preposition de “of” as in (6b).
4. Acquiring aspectual systems
A formidable challenge lies in the acquisition of a targetlike aspectual system in view
of the many layers of computations involved. A sentence describes an eventuality –
an event or state. Sentential aspect morphology imposes a perspective on this
eventuality.
5. Acquisition of aspect in Romance languages
Similar asymmetries have been found in a wide variety of languages, as well as
across tutored and untutored learners. This seems suggestive of an innate
predisposition to compute aspect.
6. Japanese
The acquisition of the Japanese referential system should have repercussions for the
aspectual characteristics of (9) and (10). Such acquisition is presumably guided by
constraints on morphology and semantic operations: morphologically bound
operations cannot apply freely. In L1-English L2-Japanese acquisition, certain
semantic operators that serve as morphologically dependent semantic values for
articles (exponents of the category D) in English must be freed from article
dependence in L2 Japanese. Semantic values for the category D must then be selected
contextually.
7. Other languages
Findings on the acquisition of aspectual systems converge. For example Slabakova
(2001) finds early evidence of telicity calculations in L1-Bulgarian’s L2-English, but
target convergence only in the advanced learners. Slabakova’s (2005) study of the
acquisition of the aspectual values of verbal prefixes in L1-English L2-Russian
supports similar conclusions. Gabriele (2005, 2009) documents the complexities
involved in the acquisition of the aspectual value of Japanese te-iru and V-ing in L1-
English L2-Japanese and in L1-Japanese L2-English. With accomplishment
predicates (e.g. paint a portrait), Japanese and English grammar lead to similar
intuitions. With achievement predicates (e.g. arrive), however, Japanese and English
grammar lead to contradictory semantics.
8. Feature reassembly and semantic development
As Lardiere (2009a) points out, L2 acquisition involves the development of matrices
for the L2 functional (grammatical) lexicon, and in subsequent feature reassembly
these morphosyntactic features are redistributed in the L2 grammar. Ionin provides a
detailed discussion of Lardiere’s proposal in terms of determiner semantics.
9. Conclusion and perspective
Aspects of L2 semantic development provide epistemological evidence that meanings
are computed in a mental architecture devoted to language that remains in use across
the life span, for child and also adult L2 learners (Dekydtspotter 2009). New interface
research highlights the guiding role of the syntax–semantics interface, in which
lexical semantics acquisition comes with knowledge of word order in the hierarchy of
categories.
Knowledge of L2 semantics grows in the UG-constrained cognitive substructure
devoted to language in which target language input is parsed and interpreted. This is
the case even if the parses guiding the interpretation are not licensed by the current
interlanguage grammar. Form–meaning relations exist in the learner’s mind as latent
potentials in the unlicensed parses in his/her interlanguage and then become fully
realized as the processing of the L2 becomes more efficient when the relevant
morphosyntax is acquired. Although L2 parses are computed in a domain-specific
computational system, the task of morphological decomposition and establishment of
the semantic values of morphemes cannot be underestimated. In this respect,
Slabakova (2008) sees morphology as a bottleneck in L2 acquisition, in view of
universal semantic operations.
DISCOURSE AND PRAGMATICS

Discourse is a conceptual generalization of conversation within each modality and


context of communication. As discourse, an "enouncement" (statement) is not a unit of
semiotic signs, but an abstract construct that allows the semiotic signs to assign
meaning, and so communicate specific, repeatable communications to, between, and
among objects, subjects, and statements. Therefore, a discourse is composed of
semiotic sequences (relations among signs that communicate meaning) between and
among objects, subjects, and statements. Pragmatics is a subfield of linguistics and
semiotics that studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning. Pragmatics
encompasses speech act theory, conversational implicature, talk in interaction and
other approaches to language behavior in philosophy, sociology, linguistics and
anthropology.[1] Unlike semantics, which examines meaning that is conventional or
"coded" in a given language, pragmatics studies how the transmission of meaning
depends not only on structural and linguistic knowledge (e.g., grammar, lexicon, etc.)
of the speaker and listener, but also on the context of the utterance,[2] any pre-existing
knowledge about those involved, the inferred intent of the speaker, and other factors.[3]
In this respect, pragmatics explains how language users are able to overcome apparent
ambiguity, since meaning relies on the manner, place, time, etc. of an utterance.

Recent research in second language acquisition acknowledges the prime importance


of pragmatic and discourse knowledge for using a second language effectively. When
Hymes (1966) argued against the perceived inadequacy of the terms linguistic
competence and performance (Chomsky 1965) and introduced the term
communicative competence, he was implying that the latter is a superior modeling of
language knowledge and use. In the SLA literature and in the language teaching
literature, linguistic competence has often been interpreted very narrowly as little
more than knowledge and use of morphosyntax.

In this review, pragmatics will be approached from a linguistic competence


perspective. The writer use the term “linguistic competence” more broadly than is
presently the case in the applied linguistic literature (e.g. Bachman’s 1990
organizational competence used in opposition to pragmatic competence).

The perspective in this chapter is thus strictly in complementation of, and not in
opposition to, the perspective of interaction and sociodiscursive dimensions of
pragmatics. Finally, the writer identify the areas of further research interest likely to
increase our knowledge of interlanguage pragmatic development.

1. Interpersonal rhetoric

a. Speech acts

The L2A research in this area is mainly based on speech act theory (Austin
1962; Searle 1969). According to these authors, a human utterance as part of
communication represents the simultaneous performance of multiple acts: a
locutionary act (i.e. propositional meaning of the sentence), an illocutionary
act (i.e. the force associated with the use of the utterance in a specific context)
and a perlocutionary act (i.e. the effects on the recipient of the performed
speech act). The illocutionary act is at the heart of L2 pragmatics research
because it captures the essence of the speaker’s intention or goal in producing
a particular conversational turn.

As mentioned above, definitions of L2 pragmatics clearly reflect the


dominance of speech acts as a primary area of inquiry. For example, Blum-
Kulka (1982) makes a distinction between social, linguistic and pragmatic
acceptability but identifies incorrect illocutionary force as the most salient
characteristic of non-native speech act realization.

b. Conversational implicature

Conversational implicature is a linguistic phenomenon related to speech acts


in the sense that both capture the ability of the hearer to recognize the
additional meaning and intention encoded in a speaker’s utterance. While
speech acts are more often culturally acceptable conventions and rules of
speaking, conversational implicature refers to the universal ability to
recognize the speaker’s underlying intention over and above the
compositional semantic meaning of the utterance.

2. Reference

a. Anaphora resolution

The study of pragmatic factors influencing anaphora resolution in second


language acquisition deserves a lot more attention than it has received in the
literature so far. The research findings to date suggest that even native
speakers of languages that have syntactically constrained binding are
influenced by context in interpreting anaphora. A linguistic theory unifying
syntactic and pragmatic binding constraints should spur acquisition studies
that take both factors into account.

b. Definiteness/indefiniteness and specificity

Like anaphora resolution, L2 acquisition of definite descriptions and


specificity marking has largely been treated from a semantic point of view.
However, the calculation of definiteness and specificity happens in real
discourse situations, so it is vitally dependent on how the speaker and hearer
encode and decode contextual cues.

c. Deixis

A search of the terms deixis and second language acquisition in the LLBA
database yields a miserly number of published articles, five or six altogether.
At the same time, deixis underlies all pragmatics and is such a fundamental
property of human language that without it no human communication would
exist. Thus this section will list linguistic properties that are still awaiting their
second language acquisition researchers and whose acquisition patterns will
give us important insights into the language acquisition capacity. Deixis refers
to the necessity of contextual information to determine the meaning of certain
words and phrases in an utterance. Words that have a fixed semantic meaning
but have a denotational meaning that constantly changes depending on time
and/or place are deictic.
3. Information structure (the syntax–discourse interface)

The marking and comprehension of information structure, or topic and focus, has
enjoyed prime attention in the generative L2 literature in the last decade. Much
attention has been paid to explaining L2 behaviora patterns through principled
solutions based on independently motivated distinctions. Generative linguists assume
a language architecture that is modular: the linguistic system consists of language
modules (e.g. phonetics/phonology, syntax, semantics) within which specialized
internal linguistic processes go on, for example feature checking and displacement of
constituents within the syntax module. Between each two modules, however, another
type of linguistic process occurs, the so-called interface processes. The latter take
units of one module and map them onto units in another module (Jackendoff 2002;
Chomsky 1995). Thus interface processes are by definition more complex and
involve keeping more information in shortterm memory compared to intra-modular
processes.

4. Conclusion

This chapter has taken the point of view of pragmatics as a field of linguistic inquiry
rather than a non-linguistic component of communicative competence. In this respect,
it adheres to the Anglo-American conception of pragmatics of Grice, Carnap and
Peirce as opposed to the more sociological conception of other, especially European
based, traditions such as Mey, Crystal and Verschueren. Pragmatics was defined as
pertaining to all contextdependent aspects of meaning encoding and decoding. As in
all modules of the linguistic system, in pragmatics there exist universal properties as
well as language-specific properties, where mismatches between L1 and L2 can
occur. It was pointed out that not all areas of L2 pragmatics have enjoyed equal
attention and inquiry. For example, research on presuppositions is practically non-
existent while research on speech acts is abundant. Rectifying these imbalances in the
coming decades will elucidate the big question of how second language speakers
bring context to bear on syntactic and semantic computations and process both what
is said and what is meant by the linguistic message.
MORPHOSINTAX

Morphosyntax is the study of the interaction of morphology and syntax. Morphosyntax is


another word for grammar. Grammar can be divided into morphology and syntax.
Morphology is the study of words and their rules of formation. And syntax is the study of
sentences and their rules of formation. Essentially, morphology and syntax are studies of the
same thing – formation rules of a language – but at differing “levels”.

1. Introduction

Over the last three decades, many generative SLA studies have examined the
acquisition of morphosyntactic phenomena, including, but not limited to,
tense/agreement marking on verbs, verb placement, number marking on nouns,
gender marking on determiners and adjectives, wh-movement and clitics. The central
question in generative approaches to the L2 acquisition of morphosyntax is whether
L2 learners (in particular adult L2 learners) are capable of constructing a targetlike
syntactic representation, especially in those domains where the learners’ native
language and their target language differ.

a. Parameters vs. features

The debate about adult L2 learners’ ability to acquire a targetlike representation was
originally framed in terms of parameters. In the Principles and Parameters framework
(Chomsky 1981), parameters were conceived of as sources of constrained variation
among languages: while principles hold invariably in all languages, parameters have a
finite set of values (or “settings”). Parameters were originally viewed as governing
whole clusters of properties.

b. Approaches to features in SLA

SLA studies of morphosyntax since the 1990s have focused on learners’ ability to
acquire new feature values not present in their native language. These include studies
of L2 learners’ acquisition of the uninterpretable [gender] feature on determiners and
adjectives in a language like Spanish, when the native language, English, does not
morphologically mark gender; or studies of acquisition of the [past] feature in a
language like English, when the native language, Chinese, does not morphologically
mark past tense.

c. Organization of this chapter

The rest this chapter is organized as follows. Section 24.2 provides the necessary
background on the linguistic properties of verb morphosyntax. Sections 24.3, 24.4
and 24.5 review three different approaches to errors with inflectional (and
specifically, verbal) morphology: representational impairment, missing surface
inflection and prosodic transfer. Section 24.6 considers an alternative way of looking
at L2 morphosyntax in light of Lardiere’s (2009a) recent proposal. Section 24.7
concludes the chapter.

2. Verbal morphosyntax

There has been much research on the L2A of verbal inflection (specifically,
tense/agreement marking) and its relationship to verb syntax. Before proceeding to
different theoretical views of the nature of morphological problems in SLA, it is
important to consider the underlying properties of both verbal inflection and verb
syntax. This chapter considers these properties in English, French and German, the
three languages which have been most explored in the SLA of verbal morphosyntax.

a. Verbal inflection

A distinction central to the study of verb morphosyntax is that between finite and
non-finite verbs. Verbs specified as [+finite] are tensed verbs, further specified as
[+past] or [-past]: for example, the verb watch is [−past] in (4a–b) and [+past] in (4c).
In English, the past tense is morphologically marked with the -ed suffix, as in (4c),
for regular verbs, or else with an irregular past-tense form.

b. Verb syntax

In English, finite thematic or lexical verbs (i.e. all verbs other than be, auxiliary
have and modals) must follow rather than precede sentence-internal adverbs (5a) as
well as follow sentential negation (5b). The opposite is true for forms of be, both as
an auxiliary (6) and as a copula (7), and is also true of the have auxiliary and modal
auxiliaries.

3. Impairment at the level of syntactic representation

A number of related but distinct proposals have been put forth in which adult L2
learners have impaired syntactic representation. Names for specific variants of the
impairment approach have included the Weak Transfer/Valueless Features
Hypothesis (Eubank 1993/94, 1996), the Local Impairment Hypothesis of (Beck
1998a), the Failed Functional Features Hypothesis (Hawkins and Chan 1997), the
Representational Deficit Hypothesis (Hawkins 2003) and the Interpretability
Hypothesis (Hawkins and Hattori 2006; Tsimpli 2003; Tsimpli and Dimitrakopoulou
2007; Tsimpli and Mastropavlou 2008). While there are important differences among
these proposals, they all take the position that the syntactic representation in L2
learners’ interlanguage (IL) grammar is in some way impaired, and that errors with
morphology are indicative of deeper problems with syntax.

4. Missing Surface Inflection

According to the Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis (MSIH) (Haznedar and


Schwartz 1997; Lardiere 2000; Pr´ evost and White 2000), problems with L2
morphology are not due to any underlying syntactic deficits, but rather to a mapping
problem between syntax and morphology.

a. MSI in L2 English

In the case of English, several different studies (Haznedar 2001; Haznedar and
Schwartz 1997; Ionin and Wexler 2002; Lardiere 1998a, b, 2003, 2007; White 2003b)
have converged on highly similar findings, discussed below, despite large differences
in the age, level of attainment and native language of their study participants.
Lardiere (1998a, b, 1999, 2003, 2007) reports on a longitudinal study of Patty, an
adult L1-Chinese L2-English learner who was recorded after ten years of US
residence and again nine years later; there was little change between the two
recording times, indicating that Patty was an endstate learner. White (2003b) reports
on a similar longitudinal study of SD, an L1-Turkish L2-English endstate learner,
who was recorded after ten years of English exposure, and again 1.5 years later, with
little change between the two recording times. Haznedar and Schwartz (1997) and
Haznedar (2001) examine the longitudinal data of a 4-year-old L1-Turkish L2-
English child, Erdem; the results reported here are pooled from the first eighteen
months of recordings, during which Erdem’s grammar underwent rapid changes.
Ionin and Wexler (2002) report on a cross-sectional study with twenty L1- Russian
L2-English children, ages 3 to 13, who had between several months and two years of
exposure to English.

b. MSI in French and German

Pr´evost and White (2000) examine the L2 acquisition of tense/agreement


morphology and related syntactic properties, including verb placement, in L2 French
and L2 German. They examine longitudinal data from four learners from the
European Science Foundation (ESF) Project on L2 acquisition by Adult Immigrants
(Perdue 1984, 1993). Two of their subjects are Abdelmalek and Zahra, L1-Moroccan
Arabic L2-French learners, interviewed for their first three years of exposure; the
other two subjects are Ana and Zita, L2-German learners whose L1s are Spanish and
Portuguese, respectively, interviewed for their first two years of exposure.

c. The MSIH and Distributed Morphology

The above findings led Pr´ evost and White (2000) to argue that L2 learners have a
fully specified syntactic representation, with Tense and Agreement categories and
features fully in place, and that their problems are of a more surface nature. Pr´ evost
and White suggest that learners have particular difficulties retrieving inflectional
morphemes, especially in spoken production, and as a result use infinitives (and, in
German, also the target finite form ending in -e) as default forms. Pr´ evost and White
advance a proposal within the Distributed Morphology framework, proposing that for
L2 learners, infinitival forms are default forms which are underspecified for
finiteness, and which are therefore compatible with a [+finite] syntactic node. If the
learner has acquired an inflected finite form, it should in principle win over an
underspecified default form in lexical insertion: for example, if an L2-French learner
needs to insert a form into a node marked [+finite, −past, +second person, +plural],
then the finite form which bears these features should win over the underspecified
infinitival form. However, if the learner is unable to retrieve the finite form, possibly
because of processing difficulties and communication pressures, then the
underspecified infinitival form is used instead. This proposal can account for the
variable suppliance of finite forms observed by Lardiere (1998a, b): even when a
finite form has been acquired, it is not always successfully retrieved.

h. Morphological Underspecification Hypothesis

McCarthy (2007, 2008) puts forth a proposal that is an alternative both to syntactic
impairment approaches and to the MSIH. McCarthy agrees with MSIH proponents
that learners’ errors are a reflection of morphological rather than syntactic difficulties.

5. The Prosodic Transfer Hypothesis

Until recently, the main approaches to L2 morphosyntax have argued for difficulties
either at the level of representation (syntactic or morphological), or at the level of
mapping from abstract syntactic forms to morphological items. Recently, a third
alternative has emerged which places the problems in the phonology. This proposal is
in principle compatible with the MSIH, since its aim is to pinpoint exactly why
learners have difficulty using specific morphemes.

6. New directions: the Feature Reassembly Hypothesis

As discussed above, most of the work done on SLA of morphosyntax has argued in
favor of one of three positions: that L2 learners have a temporarily or permanently
impaired syntactic representation; that L2 learners have a fully specified syntactic
representation, but difficulty retrieving inflectional morphemes; and that L2 learners’
production of inflectional morphology is constrained by the prosodic properties of
their L1s. Another direction in the investigation of L2 morphosyntax has been
proposed under Lardiere’s (2008, 2009a) Feature Reassembly Hypothesis.

7. Conclusion

As discussed in this chapter, the deceptively simple question of why L2 learners omit
inflectional morphology has received many answers: omission of morphology may be
due to syntactic impairment, problems with morpheme retrieval, prosodic transfer, or
unsuccessful feature reassembly.
PHONOLOGY AND SPEECH

Phonology and Speech. Phonology is scientific study of language dealing with


speech sound. Phonology is a branch of linguistics concerned with the systematic
organization of sounds in spoken languages and signs in sign languages. And
Speech is human vocal communication using language.

1. Introduction
The acquisition of a second language (L2) sound system poses significant challenges for
learners, who must acquire a new system of sound contrasts, new restrictions on where
sounds may occur, and a new prosodic system. The challenges facing researchers are to
understand the characteristics of L2 speech and to explain how and why those characteristics
arise. In this chapter, we focus on three major issues that guide research on the acquisition of
L2 sound systems: (i) the influence of L1 and of linguistic universals in L2 speech sound
patterns; (ii) the level of representation (phonological vs. phonetic) at which L2 acquisition
occurs; and (iii) the relationship between the perception and the production of the second
language.

a. Transfer and universals


Almost all studies on the acquisition of L2 sound systems address the question of how and to
what extent L1 influence (transfer) contributes to shaping L2 learners’ sound patterns (see
e.g. Major 2008). Lado’s (1957) Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CAH) predicted that those
aspects of L2 that are similar to the L1 will be easily acquired, while those aspects that are
different from the L1 will be difficult.

b. Phonology vs. phonetics


A second major issue in the acquisition of L2 sound systems concerns whether the
characteristics of L2 sound patterns are best explained from the perspective of phonology (an
internalized system of abstract rules or constraints defining the possible sound patterns of a
language) or of phonetics (the physical implementation of speech sounds in production and
the interpretation of fine-grained acoustic cues in perception).

c. Perception and production


A third area of longstanding interest in L2 phonological acquisition research is the extent to
which misproduction reflects misperception and the question of whether L2 perception and
production develop in tandem. While it is generally assumed that in children’s native
language acquisition, accurate perception precedes accurate production (Smolensky 1996),
many L2 researchers, most notably Flege (1995), have suggested that many of the difficulties
in L2 production stem from inaccurate perception of L2 targets.

2. Segmental acquisition

The vastness of the literature on L2 segmental acquisition makes it impossible to provide a


comprehensive review, so we will limit our discussion to the major research results on the
production and perception of three groups of sounds – stops, vowels and liquids.

a. Voicing contrasts in stop consonants

Languages differ in their realization of the stop voicing contrast along the dimension of
Voice Onset Time, or VOT (the time between the release of stop constriction and the onset of
voicing on the following vowel). Even languages that share a two-way voicing or laryngeal
contrast may implement this contrast differently. For example, English speakers produce /p t
k/ with a long lag in VOT, resulting in aspiration, and /b d g/ with a short lag, so that
voicing begins simultaneously with release of the stop into the following vowel. In Spanish,
French, Dutch, Greek and Portuguese, however, /p t k/ have a short lag (are unaspirated),
while for /b d g/ voicing begins during the stop closure (i.e. a negative VOT).

b. Vowel contrasts

In an early influential study on cross-language vowel perception, Stevens, Libermann,


Studdert-Kennedy and Ohman (1969: 1) suggested that unlike consonant perception, vowel
perception “is relatively independent of . . . linguistic experience.” Subsequent research,
however, has revealed that both the perception and the production of L2 vowels is strongly
influenced by listeners’ L1, with abundant evidence that non-native speakers have difficulty
perceiving certain L2 vowel contrasts not found in their L1. For example, English speakers
identified a (synthesized) French [y] vowel as English [u] while Portuguese speakers
identified it as Portuguese [i] (Rochet 1995), equating the L2 vowel with an L1 category in
perception (Best 1995; Flege 1995; Kuhl and Iverson 1995). This perceptual distortion was
also reflected in these speakers’ imitative production of French [y]: English speakers’
production of [y] was often judged to be [u] by French native speakers while Portuguese
speakers’ was judged to be [i], consistent with the claims of Flege, Takagi and Mann (1997)
that learners’ perceptual difficulties with novel L2 vowel contrasts are reflected in production
difficulties.

c. Liquid contrasts

The majority of research on L2 liquids (/r/ and /l/) has focused on Japanese learners’
acquisition of the English /l/ vs. /®/ contrast, which is notoriously difficult for Japanese
speakers (e.g. Aoyama, Flege, Guion, Akahane-Yamada and Yamada 2004; Bradlow,
Akahane-Yamada, Pisoni and Tohkura 1999; Bradlow, Pisoni, Yamada and Tohkura 1997;
Goto 1971; Logan, Lively and Pisoni 1991; Takagi 2002, among others; see Bradlow 2008
for a recent review). Where English uses the /l/ vs. /®/ contrast to distinguish words,
Japanese has a single liquid whose distribution in the acoustic space straddles the two
English categories.

3. Acquisition of restrictions on syllable structure and of phonotactics

In addition to differences in segment inventory, languages may differ in the number and
types of segments that may be grouped into syllables and in restrictions on the types of
segments that may occur in specific positions within a syllable. In general, while L2
segmental acquisition tends to show more obvious effects of L1 transfer than of universal
tendencies, research on the acquisition of phonotactics and related phonological processes in
the L2 sound system has been the source of a number of arguments for the role of universal
markedness effects in L2 acquisition.

a. Consonant clusters within and across syllables

The perception and production of non-native consonant clusters has been extensively studied,
in large part because this area provides evidence for emergent hierarchies independent of the
L1 or L2, as certain non-native cluster types seem to be acquired earlier than other equally
novel clusters across various L1s and L2s (Berent, Lennertz, Jun, Moreno and Smolensky
2008; Berent, Lennertz, Smolensky and Vaknin-Nusbaum 2009; Broselow, Chen and Wang
1998; Broselow and Finer 1991; Davidson 2010; Eckman and Iverson 1993; Hansen 2004;
Hancin-Bhatt 2000, among others).

b. Restrictions on segments in the syllable coda


Many languages place restrictions on the types of consonant contrasts that can be realized in
syllable-final position, in codas. One common pattern is a prohibition on voiced obstruents in
the syllable coda (as in Dutch, German and Russian), resulting in a lack of obstruent voicing
contrasts in coda position. Acquisition of an L2 that allows both voiceless and voiced
obstruents in coda is expected to cause problems for learners of languages that disallow such
contrasts, particularly since voiced obstruents in coda position are considered to be marked.

4. Prosodic systems: stress, pitch accent, tone and intonation

Like the acquisition of L2 segments and phonotactics, the acquisition of prosody shows
evidence for the role of the L1 as well as for universal principles not obviously grounded in
either the L1 or the L2 input. We begin with some discussion of the typology of prosody.
Languages are most often classified into three categories: tone languages, pitch accent
languages and stress languages. In a tone language such as Mandarin Chinese, morphemes
can be distinguished in meaning solely by their pitch (e.g. ma with high level tone is
“mother” while ma with falling tone is “horse”).

a. Acquisition of stress and rhythm

Since many studies have focused on L2 stress production or perception but not both, we will
consider these areas separately.

Production of L2 stress
Comparison of learners from various L1 backgrounds supports the claim that typological
similarity confers an advantage in acquiring an L2 stress system. Learners whose L1 is a
stress language, even when the placement of stress differs in the L1 and L2, appear to do
better in producing L2 stress; for example, Altmann (2006) argued that native speakers of
Arabic (a language with predictable stress, though with different parameter settings than
English) were more successful in producing English-like stress than were native speakers of
Mandarin, a tone language.

Perception of L2 stress
Some of the studies discussed above argue for transfer in the perception of L2 stress as well
as in production. In fact, Kijak (2009) suggests that “the properties of an L1 stress system
stand much more in the way of successful L2 perception than in the case of production”
(Kijak 2009: 326). Two major sources of difficulty in perception have been identified:
learners fail to attend to stress in the L2 input because L1 stress is fully predictable (stress
deafness), and learners tend to misinterpret L2 acoustic cues in terms of the different
functions that these cues serve in the L1.

b. Acquisition of tone, pitch accent and intonation

Studies on the acquisition of L2 tone, pitch accent and intonation are relatively rare. Wang,
Jongman and Sereno (2006) review several studies on the production of Mandarin tones by
English-speaking learners, showing high rates of error in tone production by English
speakers. Ioup and Tansomboom (1987) studied the production of both tone and segmental
aspects of Thai by four adult second language learners and four children, two of whom were
learning Thai as a second language. They found that tone was one of the last aspects of Thai
to be mastered by the adult learners but one of the earliest for the children learning Thai,
either as L1 or L2.

5. Conclusion

Much research in L2 sound patterns has focused on whether L2 acquisition patterns should
be understood as effects of L1 transfer or of universal preferences for particular linguistic
structures; whether acquisition patterns should be explained at the level of abstract
phonology or at a phonetic level; and whether patterns in L2 production correlate with
patterns in L2 perception.