LINGUIST List 14.3243

Tue Nov 25 2003

Books: Language Acquisition: White

Editor for this issue: Marisa Ferrara <>

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  1. jreid, Second Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar: White

Message 1: Second Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar: White

Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 11:11:40 -0500 (EST)
From: jreid <>
Subject: Second Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar: White

Title: Second Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar 
Series Title: Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics 

Publication Year: 2003 
Publisher: Cambridge University Press 

Book URL: 

Availability: Available 

Author: Lydia White, McGill University 

Hardback: ISBN: 0521792053, Pages: 332, Price: U.S.: 65 
Hardback: ISBN: 0521792053, Pages: 332, Price: U.K.: 47.5 


This authoritative textbook provides an overview and analysis of 
current second language acquisition research conducted within the 
generative linguistic framework. Lydia White argues that second 
language acquisition is constrained by principles and parameters of 
Universal Grammar. The book focuses on characterizing and explaining 
the underlying linguistic competence of second language learners in 
terms of these contraints. Theories as to the role of Universal 
Grammar and the extent of mother tongue influence are presented and 
discussed, with particular consideration given to the nature of the 
interlanguage grammar at different points in development, from the 
initial state to ultimate attainment. Throughout the book, hypotheses 
maintaining that second language grammars are constrained by universal 
principles are contrasted with claims that Universal Grammar is not 
implicated; relevant empirical research is presented from both sides 
of the debate. This textbook is essential reading for those studying 
second language acquisition from a linguistic perspective. 

1. Universal grammar and language acquisition 
2. Principles of Universal Grammar in L2 acquisition 
3. The initial state 
4. Grammars beyond the initial state: parameters and functional 
5. The transition problem, triggering and input 
6. Morphological variability and the morphology/syntax interface 
7. Argument structure 
8. Ultimate attainment: the nature of the steady state. 

Lingfield(s): Language Acquisition 
Linguistic Theories 

Written In: English (Language Code: English) 

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