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Review of  The Role of Formal Features in Second Language Acquisition


Reviewer: Ferid Chekili
Book Title: The Role of Formal Features in Second Language Acquisition
Book Author: Juana Muñoz Liceras Helmut Zobl Helen Goodluck
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Language Acquisition
Book Announcement: 23.2403

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Review:
EDITORS: J.M. Liceras, H. Zobl & H. Goodluck
TITLE: The Role of Formal Features in Second Language Acquisition
PUBLISHER: Routledge: Taylor and Francis
YEAR: 2008 (paperback 2010)

Ferid Chekili, University of Manouba, Tunisia; University of Bahrain

SUMMARY

The collection under review investigates the role of formal features in current
analyses of second language acquisition (L2) -- and to a lesser degree of first
language acquisition, impaired language development (SLI), and aphasia.

In addition to an ''Introduction'' by the editors, the collection is built around
four parts: in Part 1, containing four chapters, learnability issues
characterizing normal and pathological language acquisition, and language
breakdown, are addressed in relation to the Minimalist feature-based theory.
Likewise, Part II consists of four chapters dealing with DP features (such as
Definiteness, Case, Person, Number...) in L2 and SLI grammars. Themes discussed
include the interpretable vs. uninterpretable contrast (Chomsky 1995), and the
relationship between functional morphology and syntax. Part III has two
sections: section 1 consists of four chapters which deal with the L2 acquisition
of Finiteness, Agreement, and Tense; a recurring theme is a comparison between
the Failed Functional Features Hypothesis and the Missing Surface Inflection
Hypothesis. The second section also contains four chapters and is concerned with
Aspect-related features. Finally, Part IV consists of two chapters dealing with
CP features.

In their introduction, the editors present an overview of the theory of features
in both linguistic theory and learnability theory. The overview draws both on
the contents of the edited collection and the general literature. The gist of
the first part of the introduction is to demonstrate the important role features
have played within Minimalism in accounts of language variation, which makes
them quite relevant for any discussion of learnability issues. It also concludes
that despite many unresolved questions, the role played by features in accounts
of language variation (e.g. in explaining lack of success) is not to be doubted.
The second part of the introduction outlines the contents and organization of
the book.

Part I Linguistic Theory and Learnability

In chapter 1 (The Role of Features in Syntactic Theory and Language Variation),
Travis begins her contribution by arguing that within Chomskyan syntactic
theory, features have been used to capture language variation, and hence, “any
study of language acquisition done within this framework is now a study of the
acquisition of features” (23). Her second section is devoted to showing the role
of features -- in early Minimalism -- as an account of language variation, and
hence, language acquisition. She concludes that this early use of features was
not without problems and will be replaced by a more explanatorily adequate
system in which “the feature that needs to be checked [is separated] from the
feature that triggers movement” (28). Using Boskovic (1998) and Cheng (2000) as
examples, she then addresses the possibility of moving features by themselves,
independently of the lexical item which introduces them, and concludes that “by
having feature movement, we have an elegant explanation for the covert movement
facts of French and the overt realization of a default wh-Comp in German” (35).
In the final section, she shows that the feature-based system may seem to be too
flexible but that, in fact, “language variation calls for exactly this sort of
flexibility” (36). She illustrates using examples from languages where a
V-feature triggers XP movement and a D-feature triggers D-movement. She also
notes that the feature system (unlike the previous one) is not well-suited to
accounting for certain types of ill-formedness and that the answer to this and
other problems may come from acquisition data.

In chapter 2 (Uninterpretable Features and EPP: A Minimalist Account of Language
Buildup and Breakdown), Platzack, using Pesetsky and Torrego’s (2001)
feature-driven version of Minimalism, assumes that early L1 children, children
with SLI, adult L2 learners, and Broca’s aphasics have full grammatical
knowledge of the features in C and T in Swedish (in particular, EPP). Such
knowledge has to do with movement of the verb to C, occurrence of subject DP,
and movement of wh-elements to CP. Platzack endeavours to demonstrate that the
production errors of the subjects above, “can be accounted for if we assume that
these speakers cannot automatically use their knowledge of the distribution of
EPP in the language they are speaking” (50), i.e. their performance is not
always adultlike. He further assumes that the errors involve CP and TP and not vP.

Radford, in chapter 3 (Feature Correlations in Nominative Case Marking in L1,
L2, and Native English) reconsiders Iatridou’s (1993) parametric view of
nominative case-assignment (in Greek) in connection with standard English, and
argues that mood (and agreement) is what determines nominative case-assignment
in English. He shows that the same account can be extended to L1 learners who
use both nominative and accusative subjects in the same (finite) contexts and to
L1 and L2 learners who use only nominative subjects in the same contexts. Such a
parametric account involves a feature selection/combination of the following:
mood/person/EPP/number/tense-features. Finally, he shows that the features are
ordered according to whether they are obligatorily or optionally specified,
resulting in: mood>EPP/person>number>tense.

In chapter 4 (Feature Assembly in Second Language Acquisition) Lardiere
addresses parameter resetting in SLA as conceptualized by the representational
deficit approach which “attributes L2 inflectional variability or error to a
failure in the selection of parametrised formal features” (109). She argues that
“accounting for morphological variability simply by appealing to the parametric
(non)selection of features is too simplistic” (111). She believes, instead, that
L2 acquisition is affected by the way morphological features are assembled or
combined. She illustrates the idea with specific examples showing how the
different combinations of features in the L1 and the L2 may yield learning
problems, concluding that “there is a kind of morphological competence that must
be acquired by the learner”, namely, the knowledge of “which forms go with which
features” (111).

Part II Determiner Phrase-Related Features

In chapter 1 (Feature Interpretability in L2 Acquisition and SLI: Greek Clitics
and Determiners), using data from L2 acquisition and SLI of Greek clitics and
determiners, Tsimpli and Mastropavlou approach a theory of learnability from the
point of view of the “interpretability status of formal features” (143). In
particular, they argue that uninterpretable formal features are inaccessible to
both types of learners, though the reasons may be different: critical period
effects for the first; genetically-based deficiencies for the second. In
particular, the definite article and the third person accusative clitic
(consisting of clusters of uninterpretable features only) are shown to be more
problematic for L2 learners than the indefinite article and the first/second
person and genitive clitics (assumed to have an interpretable person/-definite
feature). Thus, “interpretable features are ... accessible in all processes of
language development, whereas uninterpretable features become inaccessible
either due to constraints related to the critical period hypothesis or to the
incomplete or deficient analysis of L1 input” (154).

Jakubowicz and Roulet examine, in chapter 2 (Narrow Syntax or Interface Deficit?
Gender Agreement in French SLI), the question whether variable use of
grammatical morphology may be explained as the result of a syntactic deficit or
a production (processing) deficit. This question is discussed in the context of
“a study on elicited production and perception of Gender agreement conducted
with French-speaking children with SLI and a group of normally developing
controls” (186). The production task shows that whereas the latter do not seem
to have any problems with Gender agreement, the former do. The perception task,
however, shows that both populations are equally sensitive to Gender agreement.
The conclusion drawn by the authors is that contra Gopnik (1990) and Clahsen
(1989), who take agreement errors to reflect a syntactic deficit, “the source of
the errors made by SLI children in the production task does not lie in the
computational component of the language faculty but in accessing and integrating
different types of information at the interfaces that relate language to other
cognitive systems” (186).

In chapter 3 (The Role of Semantic Factors in the Acquisition of English
Articles by Russian and Korean Speakers) Ionin, Ko, and Wexler are concerned
with the semantic features ([+definite] and [+specific]) that dictate article
choice in the DP, and with the importance of these features for the acquisition
of English articles by adult speakers of Russian and Korean, languages with no
articles. The authors show that the [+definite] and [+specific] features belong
to a cross-linguistic inventory of article specifications. This suggests that
learners have to discover how this feature contrast is organized in the language
they are learning. In other words, learners of English by L1 speakers of
articleless languages such as Russian and Korean have to find out whether the
English article system is parametrised around the [definite] feature or the
[specific] one. The rationale behind the choice of this particular population of
learners is to see whether these learners would use ‘the’ and ‘a’ in contexts
other than the English [+/-definite] ones, given that they ought to have access
to all settings of the parameter; i.e. ‘the’ could be used in [-definite,
+specific] contexts, and ‘a’ in [+definite, -specific] contexts. Using a number
of tests, they conclude that until they have received sufficient input pointing
to the [+definite] feature as the correct option for English, L2 learners of
English fluctuate between two possibilities when learning articles: articles are
distinguished 1. on the basis of definiteness, and 2. on the basis of
specificity. Therefore, the “findings provide evidence for direct access to
universal semantic features in L2 acquisition, as well as for the reality of the
feature [+specific]” (263).

Chapter 4 (Acquisition of the Spanish Plural by French L1 Speakers: The Role of
Transfer), by de Garavito, considers the relation between overt morphology and
syntax in L2 acquisition: variable inflectional morphology is seen by some as
indicative of problems with the morphosyntactic representation of the grammar in
adult learners, a competence problem (e.g. Liceras 1997, Tsimpli and Roussou
1991) and by others as simply a problem of mapping of the correct form (e.g.
Lardiere 1998, Prevost and White 2000). To test these positions, de Garavito
reports on a disassociation between inflection and syntax found in French
learners of L2 Spanish: she notes that these speakers show variability in their
production of the plural in Spanish; this cannot be predicted by transfer as
French, like Spanish, has strong number features. On the other hand, these
speakers have no problem with acquisition of the noun-adjective word order
(“which is consistent with knowledge of the strong number feature of Spanish”
(272)). She argues that “this contradiction can best be accounted for by
transfer -- not transfer in the domain of functional categories but rather at
the prosodic level” (272). The results of the study argue against inflectional
variability as being the result of a representational functional deficit as well
as against the No Parameter Resetting Hypothesis (e.g. Liceras 1997) as “the
learners were able to acquire the relevant knowledge of Spanish syllable
structure” (293).

Part III Inflection Phrase and Aspect Phrase-Related Features

Section 1 Finiteness, Agreement, and Tense.
In chapter 1 (Some Puzzling Features of L2 Features) White deals with the
question of morphological variability in L2 acquisition -- more specifically,
Mandarin and French learners of English (where French shares with English the
overt morphological realization of the features considered, and Mandarin does
not). She compares three current hypotheses to L2 morphological variability (the
Failed Functional Features Hypothesis (FFFH), the Missing Surface Inflection
Hypothesis (MSIH), and the Prosodic Transfer Hypothesis (PTH)) and their
predictions with respect to English verbal and nominal features. She then tests
the predictions in an experiment described in section 4. The three hypotheses
are equally incapable of explaining one aspect of the results: the two groups
perform better on noun plurals than on 3rd singular verbal agreement. More
generally, none of the hypotheses seems to be capable on its own to account for
morphological variability, which suggests that “... a combination of theories is
necessary in order to account for the performance of L2 speakers in the
morphological domain” (321).

In chapter 2 (The Semantic Effects of Verb Raising and Its Consequences in
Second Language Grammars) Hawkins, Casillas, Hattori, Hawthorne, Husted, Lozano,
Okamoto, Thomas, and Yamada consider the semantic reflexes of verb raising.
Whereas raising is associated with an event-in-progress/existential
interpretation, absence of raising is associated with a habitual/generic
interpretation. The study investigates the ability of highly proficient second
language speakers of English (including speakers whose L1s have no verb raising
-- Chinese, Japanese -- and speakers whose L1s do -- Arabic, French, German,
Spanish) to judge the appropriateness of a number of continuations in contexts
that are either clearly progressive or clearly generic. The results show that
the L2 groups under investigation can successfully distinguish between
appropriate and inappropriate interpretations of the simple present/past tense
and the progressive and therefore, they must all have acquired the English
feature representations for T and v which are assumed to determine tense and
progressive. However, it is also shown that there are significant differences
between the two groups. In connection with how they judge the appropriateness of
‘be+ing’ with an event-in-progress/existential reading, speakers of V-raising
languages are like the native control groups, while the Chinese/Japanese
speakers are different from the native control group. On the other hand,
regarding how they judge the inappropriateness of habitual/generic readings with
‘be+ing’, Chinese/Japanese speakers are like natives whereas speakers of
V-raising languages are different from natives. “English appears to provide
positive evidence for the uninterpretable [uInfl:] feature of v and the
[uInfl:*] feature of Progressive” (348) associated with these distinctions, and
therefore, if UG is fully available in L2 acquisition, this will mean that all
the uninterpretable features will be represented regardless of L1 (contrary to
findings). The authors conclude, following Tsimpli, that “although interpretable
syntactic features provided by UG are available for use in grammar construction
throughout life, uninterpretable features that are not instantiated in primary
language acquisition may be subject to a critical period. Where such features
are not available, L2 learners use other UG-determined resources to model input”
(348).

In chapter 3 (Knowledge of Morphology and Syntax in Early Adult L2 French:
Evidence for The Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis) Philippe Prevost
examines the question of whether morphological variability reflects impaired
grammatical features in underlying grammars. He addresses this issue using
cross-sectional data. The results point to the correctness of the non-impairment
view of acquisition, i.e. there is evidence of knowledge of functional
categories realizing finiteness, of features, and of feature strength.
Similarly, the data show the Impairment Representation Hypothesis to be
incorrect (e.g. finite verbs are shown to be placed to the left of negation most
of the time). “The results also suggest that L2 acquisition of syntax is
independent of the acquisition of morphology” (373): syntactic properties seem
to be acquired despite the absence of inflectional morphology.

Chapter 4 (The Verbal Functional Domain in L2A and L3A: Tense and Agreement in
Cantonese-English-French Interlanguage) is contributed by Leung, who
investigates the question of L3 acquisition and its relation to L1 and L2
acquisition. The author conducts experiments testing the status of tense and
agreement features and feature strength in L1 Cantonese, L2 English, and L3
French; more specifically, Leung aims to discover whether Cantonese L1 speakers
learning French as an L3 can build a TP with [+/-finite], [+/-past] and
agreement features, and a [+strong] value. The idea is that if the L1 were the
initial state, the acquisition problem would be, for these learners, to
construct a TP projection -- since Cantonese does not include one; if, on the
other hand, the initial state were the L2 (English), then the problem would
simply be resetting the value for the [+strong] feature -- as English and French
differ in this respect. Contra the FFFH, the results show that the formal
features are still accessible in L2 and L3, even if they are not available in
the L1. Moreover, the data shows that not only does the L2 grammar facilitate
the acquisition of the L3, but the L3, in turn, may influence the L2 grammar.
She concludes that no impairment is involved in L2 and L3 grammars and that “the
more languages one has acquired, the easier it will be for the learner to
acquire a new additional language…” (399).

Section 2 Aspect.
In Chapter 5 (On the Role of DP in the Acquisition of Finiteness in Child L2
English) Gavruseva investigates the relationship, in child L2 English
acquisition, between the acquisition of DP -- in particular, the feature Q
embedded in the DP -- and the acquisition of finiteness in clauses (AspP). She
argues that finiteness (tense and agreement) will not emerge until the Q and
definiteness features have been acquired. In other words, “the underspecified
nature of DP in early child L2 contributes to the RI (Root Infinitive) effect,
that is, an extensive omission of finiteness morphology with lexical verbs”
(405). The data investigated shows high omission rates of determiner ‘the’,
which suggests that Q cannot be licensed via D, which, in turn, means that the
two features Q and D are underspecified, resulting in the overuse of Root
Infinitives.

In chapter 6 (Non-Native Recognition of Iterative and Habitual Meanings of
Spanish Preterite and Imperfect Tenses), Perez-Leroux, Cuza, Majzlanova, and
Sanchez-Naranjo propose to investigate the L2 acquisition of aspect. In order to
do so, they compare two approaches to the acquisition of aspect: “in the
featural model, acquisition consists of feature activation...”; “whereas in the
selectional approach, acquisition has a lexical nature development, where
learners must bootstrap the selectional features of each functional head
independently” (443). To this end, the authors use iterative and habitual
contexts (as they are similar in both requiring “coercion” and in their lexical
semantics): habitual meaning is expressed by the imperfect and iterative (and
“coerced” iterative) meanings are expressed by the preterite. The aim is to
determine whether the subjects (adult English L1 learners of Spanish) are able
to learn the differences between the aspectual value of the preterite and the
iterative value “coerced”. They argue that learners are able to acquire the
habitual imperfect and the punctual preterite but have difficulties with certain
“coercion” contexts. They conclude that these findings -- namely, the
acquisition of certain morphemes and not others -- follow naturally from a
selectional approach that applies independently to each head, rather than from
the featural -- morphosyntactic -- approach (where the aspectual distinctions
depend on the interpretable features).

In Chapter 7 (Aspectual Shifts: Grammatical and Pragmatic Knowledge in L2
Acquisition) Slabakova and Montrul investigate the possibility that
“competence-performance discrepancies in the L2 acquisition of syntax and
semantics” results from the use of pragmatic knowledge. The authors make a
distinction between grammatical knowledge and pragmatic knowledge. The former
involves features checked in the syntax; the latter requires the satisfaction of
certain interface conditions, namely, the interface between discourse and syntax
(which has been shown to be problematic for children). Therefore, “by focusing
on the L2 acquisition of predicates that shift aspectual class under different
pragmatic conditions in Spanish, [the authors] ask whether L2 learners’
non-targetlike linguistic behavior is due to pragmatic processing abilities or
to differences in the operation of grammatical feature checking” (456). The
question underlying their study is “whether for English-speaking learners of
Spanish, aspectual shifts triggered by feature-checking aspectual operators like
direct objects, the telicity marker ‘se’, and grammatical aspect inflection are
easier to acquire than aspectual shifts triggered by more discourse pragmatic
signals such as adverbials” (464). The authors’ conclusion is that only the
investigation of the semantics-pragmatics interface will be able to explain the
differences between L1 and L2 acquisition.

Chapter 8 (Interpretable and Uninterpretable Features in the Acquisition of
Spanish Past Tenses; Diaz, Bel, and Bekiou) “deals with the acquisition of the
aspectual contrasts conveyed by Spanish preterite and imperfect in relation to
four types of predicates: states, activities, accomplishments, and
achievements”. After describing the different aspectual systems in the L1s
under investigation, and presenting a Minimalist Program view of aspect (where
the distinction between [+/-interpretable] plays an important role), the authors
formulate a number of hypotheses to be tested. The analysis of the data shows
that Romance and Greek learners (whose L1s are related to Spanish) have an
advantage. For the other language types, difficulties arise in connection with
activities and accomplishments which “involve an interaction between
interpretable and uninterpretable features”. Overall, the authors maintain that
learners from all L1 backgrounds will have difficulties with activities and
accomplishments precisely because telicity depends on the interaction of
interpretable features with uninterpretable ones.

Part IV Complementizer phrase-related features

Chapter 1 (Complementizer Phrase Features in Child L1 and Adult L3 Acquisition)
is contributed by Flynn, Vinnitskaya, and Foley. After dealing with the role
that CP features play in free relatives and headed relatives, and arguing that
experience with free relatives facilitates the acquisition of headed
constructions, the authors review results from L1 studies which indicate: “(a)
CP features are accessible to children and active in their construction of
relative clauses; (b) language-specific information about the feature content of
CP is especially accessible in the free relative, and (c) children are able to
use language-specific discoveries from the free relative in constructing the
lexically headed form” (516). Using a previous study by Flynn (1989) which
showed that CP features are available in L2 acquisition, and that, in case the
two languages are similar, the L1 can facilitate L2 acquisition, the authors
consider further evidence for this claim from L3 acquisition: in particular,
from “the acquisition of relative clauses in a head-initial language, English,
by adults whose L1, Kazakh, is head-final, but whose L2, Russian, is
head-initial” (516). A production study is undertaken where subjects are tested
on free and headed relatives. “The findings support continuous accessibility of
CP in language acquisition in L1, L2, and beyond. Logically, therefore, they
point to continuous accessibility of the formal features that the CP hosts” (517).

Chapter 2 (On CP Positions in L2 Spanish) is by Valenzuela. Here too, the two
general theories of acquisition (the impairment vs. nonimpairment views --
specifically, the No Parameter Resetting Hypothesis (NPRH) and the Full
Transfer/Full Access Hypothesis (FTFA)) are compared with respect to the
acquisition of topic constructions in L2 Spanish by native speakers of English.
The idea is to test whether English speakers can learn the properties of Spanish
topic constructions which are not found in their L1, namely, recursive topics,
clitic projections, and null anaphoric operators (also present in the L1). The
results of the experimental tasks consisting of a sentence completion task and
an oral grammaticality judgment task, suggest that “both functional projections
and some associated properties that are not present in the L1 are acquirable in
post-childhood L2 acquisition. This evidence suggests that the L2 end-state
grammar can achieve nativelike competence, in principle, thereby providing
evidence in favour of the FTFA” (556).

EVALUATION

In my opinion, the contribution of this volume is in providing an answer to the
question: how has SLA research coped with developments in linguistic theory?
Indeed, as mentioned in the preface, “this book is the first contribution
devoted to the use of feature-based linguistic theory in L2A research”. Not only
have features been shown here to constitute an important device for describing
“parametric contrasts” between the L1, L2 (and L3), and for “describing a
learner’s interlanguage grammar”, but they have also been used “to account for
difficulties or lack of success in L2A” (vii). In order to do so, most chapters
argue for one or the other of two competing theories of acquisition:
difficulties are accounted for either in terms of a “representational deficit”
or in terms of “output limitations”. This is a common thread linking the
chapters together and allowing the book to have a clear-cut internal organization.

Other significant and helpful features of the collection include the author and
subject indexes provided, but even more importantly, the chapter summaries at
the start of each chapter (with the exception of chapters 3.7 and 4.2)
containing relevant information about the chapters, such as the research
questions and the findings.

The introduction is another strong feature of the book in that the editors have
succeeded in linking together points from different articles. They have managed
to do so by identifying certain issues and seeing how the different chapters
would deal with them. Comparing the various treatments, the introduction looks
for generalizations and draws pertinent conclusions.

Some of the weaker points of the collection include the following:

1. As research in SLA is often the product of refinements in linguistic theory,
and owing to the growing importance in recent research of the role that CP
features (in particular, information structural features) have come to play in
bridging the gap between pragmatics, syntax, and prosody, I would have expected
(and wished) part IV to be more representative of this tendency, and to include
more chapters on topic/focus features. Indeed, Generative SLA, together with
typical theoretical syntactic research, has recently focused on the acquisition
of grammatical interfaces in discourse-configurational languages (in particular,
syntax/information structure, and syntax/prosody interfaces) best understood in
connection with the acquisition of topic/focus features.

2. There are a number of (minor) problems (mistakes, ambiguities, speculations).
Some examples:

p. 96, example (21) does not match its description; p.98, there is no ‘wants’ in
(22a); p.148, example (3c) needs to substitute for (3d); p. 277, English plural
allomorphs are given to be [-s], [-z], and [-es]; p. 278, “In the next section
[section 6] ... the results ...”: results appear in section 7 and not 6; pp.
281-282, a confusion between (7) and (8); p. 316 (second paragraph), “regular”
instead of “irregular”; p. 196, in order to explain the early learning of gender
agreement between the determiner and the noun, the authors have to speculate
that “the acquisition process proceeds so quickly that little time seems to be
left for errors to show up”. Another speculation can be found on p. 319, where
the author, showing that the results are not consistent with the predictions of
the MSIH, concludes the paragraph by saying that other results (Ionin and Wexler
2002, p.109) are consistent with the MSIH, without elaborating on the
significance/implications of this contradiction. At least one chapter (2.2) is
concerned primarily with children with SLI, whereas the collection is meant to
be primarily a study of L2 acquisition.

Nonetheless, as shown at the beginning of this section, the book’s strengths
outweigh its weaknesses.

REFERENCES

Boskovic, Z. 1998. LF movement and the minimalist program. Proceedings of the
annual meeting of the North East Linguistic Society 28, 43-58.

Cheng, L. 2000. Moving just the feature. In G. Muller, U. Lutz, & A. von Stechow
(Eds.), wh-scope marking, 77-99. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Chomsky, N. 1995. The minimalist program. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Clahsen, H. 1989. The grammatical characterisation of developmental dysphasia.
Linguistics 27, 897-920.

Flynn, S. 1989. The role of the head-initial/head-final parameter in the
acquisition of English relative clauses by adult Spanish and Japanese speakers.
In S. Gass & J. Shachter (Eds.). Linguistic perspectives on Second Language
Acquisition, 89-108. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Gopnik, M. 1990. Feature blindness: A case study. Language Acquisition 1(2),
139-164.

Iatridou, S. 1993. On nominative case assignment and a few related things. MIT
Working Papers in Linguistics 19, 175-196.

Ionin, T. & Wexler, K. 2002. Why is 'is' easier than '-s'?: Acquisition of
tense/agreement morphology by child second language learners of English. Second
Language Research 18, 95-136.

Lardiere, D. 1998. Dissociating syntax from morphology in a divergent end-state
grammar. Second Language Research 14, 359-375.

Liceras, J.M. 1997. The now and then of L2 growing pains. In L. Diaz Rodriguez &
C. Perez Vidal (Eds.). Views on the acquisition and use of a second language,
65-85. Barcelona, Spain: Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Pesetsky, D. & Torrego, E. 2001. Tense-to-C movement: Causes and consequences.
In M. Kenstowicz (Ed.), Ken Hale: A life in language, 355-426. Cambridge, MA:
MIT Press.

Prevost, P. & White, L. 2000. Missing surface inflection or impairment in second
language acquisition? Evidence from tense and agreement. Second Language
Research 16(2), 103-133.

Tsimpli, I.M. & Roussou, A. 1991. Parameter resetting in L2? University College
London Working Papers in Linguistics 3, 149-169.

ABOUT THE REVIEWER
 
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
Ferid Chekili has taught Linguistics and Language Acquisition in different colleges in several countries. His primary research interests include syntactic theory, Second Language Acquisition, and the syntax-information structure interface.

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