Linguistic Theory in Second Language Acquisition

  • Suzanne Flynn
  • Wayne O’Neil

Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 8)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Introduction

    1. Suzanne Flynn, Wayne O’Neil
      Pages 1-24
  3. Theoretical and Historical Context for Second Language Acquisition

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 25-25
    2. Frederick J. Newmeyer, Steven H. Weinberger
      Pages 34-45
  4. Parameters

  5. Markedness in Second Language Acquisition

  6. Additional Evidence for Universal Grammar

  7. Complementary Perspectives

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 329-329
    2. Donaldo P. Macedo, Francesco D’Introno
      Pages 330-345
    3. Jean Aitchison
      Pages 346-361
    4. Rajendra Singh, Gita Martohardjono
      Pages 362-382
  8. Universal Grammar from a Traditional Perspective

  9. Back Matter
    Pages 431-443

About this book


Suzanne Flynn and Wayne O'Neil Massachusetts Institute of Technology I. INTRODUCTION The theory of Universal Grammar (UG) as explicated e. g. in Chomsky, 1986, has led to explosive developments in the study of natural language as well as to significant advances in the study of first language (L I) acquisition. Most recently. the theory of UG has led to important theore­ tical and empirical advances in the field of adult second language (L2) acquisition as well. The principle impetus for this development can be traced to the work in linguistics which shifted the study "from behavior or the products of behavior to states of the mind/brain that enter into behavior" (Chomksy. 1986:3). Grammars within this framework are conceived of as theoretical accounts of "the state of the mind/brain of the person who knows a particular language" (Chomsky. 1986:3). Research within fields of language acquisition seeks to isolate and specify the properties of the underlying competence necessary for language learning. Full development of a theory of UG demands study and understanding of the nature of both the formal properties of language and of the language acquisition process itself. However. while there is a tradition of debate and dialogue established between theoretical linguistics and Ll acquisition research. relatively few connections have been made between linguistic theory and L2 acquisition research.


Language Learning SLA Second language acquisition Sprachentwicklungsstörungen grammar language acquisition language development morphology second language

Editors and affiliations

  • Suzanne Flynn
    • 1
  • Wayne O’Neil
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Foreign Languages and LiteraturesMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Linguistics and PhilosophyMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1988
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-55608-085-2
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-2733-9
  • Series Print ISSN 1873-0043
  • Buy this book on publisher's site