On Chameleons and Monitors

  • Elaine E. Tarone
Part of the Topics in Language and Linguistics book series (TLLI)


One of the most difficult problems faced by researchers in the field of secondlanguage acquisition is the demonstration of the systematic nature of learner language, or interlanguage (Selinker, 1972). What does it mean to say that interlanguage (IL) is systematic when different research instruments, administered at the same time, provide different assessments of the status of the same form in the learner’s IL? One measure may show a form occurring 75% of the time, and another measure may show it occurring only 20% of the time. Research on the nature of system in IL cannot be successful until the causes of systematic variation in IL have been isolated and identified. What causes this variation in IL form?


Language Form Language Acquisition Grammatical Form Noun Plural Communicative Pressure 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elaine E. Tarone
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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