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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Forty years later: Updating the Fossilization Hypothesis
Author: ZhaoHong Han
Institution: Columbia University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: A founding concept in second language acquisition (SLA) research, fossilization has been fundamental to understanding second language (L2) development. The Fossilization Hypothesis, introduced in Selinker's seminal text (1972), has thus been one of the most influential theories, guiding a significant bulk of SLA research for four decades; 2012 marks its fortieth anniversary. This article revisits the Fossilization Hypothesis, starting with the earliest set of questions (still the most comprehensive) (Selinker & Lamendella 1978) and using them as a basis for updating the Hypothesis. The current understanding of fossilization is presented by introducing an alternative hypothesis, the Selective Fossilization Hypothesis (Han 2009) and, in the light of that alternative, reviewing a selection of fossilizable structures documented in the recent literature.


This article appears IN Language Teaching Vol. 46, Issue 2.

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