This edited volume dealing with formal features in Second Language
Acquisition (SLA) is defined within current generative grammatical theory,
such as the Principles and Parameters Theory and the Minimalist Program.
Formal features are essential to any account of language acquisition
because they are basic components of lexical and functional categories.
This is a subject of much current research as evidenced by the number of
published articles in journals and in conference proceedings. This is what
the editors say: While L2 acquisition is the focus of our volume, the
papers address the role of features in the current versions of generative
grammar and explore the role of features for learnability theory as it
relates to native and non-native acquisition. To our knowledge, the volume
represents the first scholarly contribution specifiacally devoted to
features in language acquisition.
There are many generativists in SLA, including our two series editors,
Susan Gass and Jacquelyn Schacther. When asked if the formalist bias will
be a big detraction, Jacquelyn said, "The formal features book will
definitely be formalist in tone, and within the latest framework. But what
I see the formalists doing big time is becoming cognitive neuroscientists.
This is a good idea, I think because they're forced to deal with
psycholinguistics and biological matters, like it or not. And I see that a
number of the proposed authors for this volume are in fact working with
psychologists and neuroscientists, especially the European authors, of
which there are many. And I like the book for ...the expansion beyond SLA
to agrammaticism, SLKI, bilingualism, the similarities between SLA and
linguistic defects, etc."