LINGUIST List 23.2403

Mon May 21 2012

Review: General Ling; Language Acquisition: Liceras et al. (2008/2010)

Editor for this issue: Monica Macaulay <monicalinguistlist.org>



Date: 21-May-2012
From: Ferid Chekili <feridchekililgyahoo.fr>
Subject: The Role of Formal Features in Second Language Acquisition
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Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/21/21-3708.html
EDITORS: J.M. Liceras, H. Zobl & H. GoodluckTITLE: The Role of Formal Features in Second Language AcquisitionPUBLISHER: Routledge: Taylor and FrancisYEAR: 2008 (paperback 2010)

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

SUMMARY

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

In addition to an ''Introduction'' by the editors, the collection is built aroundfour parts: in Part 1, containing four chapters, learnability issuescharacterizing normal and pathological language acquisition, and languagebreakdown, are addressed in relation to the Minimalist feature-based theory.Likewise, Part II consists of four chapters dealing with DP features (such asDefiniteness, Case, Person, Number...) in L2 and SLI grammars. Themes discussedinclude the interpretable vs. uninterpretable contrast (Chomsky 1995), and therelationship between functional morphology and syntax. Part III has twosections: section 1 consists of four chapters which deal with the L2 acquisitionof Finiteness, Agreement, and Tense; a recurring theme is a comparison betweenthe Failed Functional Features Hypothesis and the Missing Surface InflectionHypothesis. The second section also contains four chapters and is concerned withAspect-related features. Finally, Part IV consists of two chapters dealing withCP features.

In their introduction, the editors present an overview of the theory of featuresin both linguistic theory and learnability theory. The overview draws both onthe contents of the edited collection and the general literature. The gist ofthe first part of the introduction is to demonstrate the important role featureshave played within Minimalism in accounts of language variation, which makesthem quite relevant for any discussion of learnability issues. It also concludesthat despite many unresolved questions, the role played by features in accountsof 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 ofthe 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 syntactictheory, features have been used to capture language variation, and hence, “anystudy of language acquisition done within this framework is now a study of theacquisition of features” (23). Her second section is devoted to showing the roleof features -- in early Minimalism -- as an account of language variation, andhence, language acquisition. She concludes that this early use of features wasnot without problems and will be replaced by a more explanatorily adequatesystem in which “the feature that needs to be checked [is separated] from thefeature that triggers movement” (28). Using Boskovic (1998) and Cheng (2000) asexamples, she then addresses the possibility of moving features by themselves,independently of the lexical item which introduces them, and concludes that “byhaving feature movement, we have an elegant explanation for the covert movementfacts 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 tooflexible but that, in fact, “language variation calls for exactly this sort offlexibility” (36). She illustrates using examples from languages where aV-feature triggers XP movement and a D-feature triggers D-movement. She alsonotes that the feature system (unlike the previous one) is not well-suited toaccounting for certain types of ill-formedness and that the answer to this andother problems may come from acquisition data.

In chapter 2 (Uninterpretable Features and EPP: A Minimalist Account of LanguageBuildup and Breakdown), Platzack, using Pesetsky and Torrego’s (2001)feature-driven version of Minimalism, assumes that early L1 children, childrenwith SLI, adult L2 learners, and Broca’s aphasics have full grammaticalknowledge of the features in C and T in Swedish (in particular, EPP). Suchknowledge 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 theproduction errors of the subjects above, “can be accounted for if we assume thatthese speakers cannot automatically use their knowledge of the distribution ofEPP in the language they are speaking” (50), i.e. their performance is notalways 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 ofnominative case-assignment (in Greek) in connection with standard English, andargues that mood (and agreement) is what determines nominative case-assignmentin English. He shows that the same account can be extended to L1 learners whouse both nominative and accusative subjects in the same (finite) contexts and toL1 and L2 learners who use only nominative subjects in the same contexts. Such aparametric account involves a feature selection/combination of the following:mood/person/EPP/number/tense-features. Finally, he shows that the features areordered 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) Lardiereaddresses parameter resetting in SLA as conceptualized by the representationaldeficit approach which “attributes L2 inflectional variability or error to afailure 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, thatL2 acquisition is affected by the way morphological features are assembled orcombined. She illustrates the idea with specific examples showing how thedifferent combinations of features in the L1 and the L2 may yield learningproblems, concluding that “there is a kind of morphological competence that mustbe acquired by the learner”, namely, the knowledge of “which forms go with whichfeatures” (111).

Part II Determiner Phrase-Related Features

In chapter 1 (Feature Interpretability in L2 Acquisition and SLI: Greek Cliticsand Determiners), using data from L2 acquisition and SLI of Greek clitics anddeterminers, Tsimpli and Mastropavlou approach a theory of learnability from thepoint of view of the “interpretability status of formal features” (143). Inparticular, they argue that uninterpretable formal features are inaccessible toboth types of learners, though the reasons may be different: critical periodeffects for the first; genetically-based deficiencies for the second. Inparticular, the definite article and the third person accusative clitic(consisting of clusters of uninterpretable features only) are shown to be moreproblematic for L2 learners than the indefinite article and the first/secondperson and genitive clitics (assumed to have an interpretable person/-definitefeature). Thus, “interpretable features are ... accessible in all processes oflanguage development, whereas uninterpretable features become inaccessibleeither due to constraints related to the critical period hypothesis or to theincomplete 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 ofgrammatical morphology may be explained as the result of a syntactic deficit ora production (processing) deficit. This question is discussed in the context of“a study on elicited production and perception of Gender agreement conductedwith French-speaking children with SLI and a group of normally developingcontrols” (186). The production task shows that whereas the latter do not seemto 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 ofthe errors made by SLI children in the production task does not lie in thecomputational component of the language faculty but in accessing and integratingdifferent types of information at the interfaces that relate language to othercognitive systems” (186).

In chapter 3 (The Role of Semantic Factors in the Acquisition of EnglishArticles by Russian and Korean Speakers) Ionin, Ko, and Wexler are concernedwith the semantic features ([+definite] and [+specific]) that dictate articlechoice in the DP, and with the importance of these features for the acquisitionof English articles by adult speakers of Russian and Korean, languages with noarticles. The authors show that the [+definite] and [+specific] features belongto a cross-linguistic inventory of article specifications. This suggests thatlearners have to discover how this feature contrast is organized in the languagethey are learning. In other words, learners of English by L1 speakers ofarticleless languages such as Russian and Korean have to find out whether theEnglish article system is parametrised around the [definite] feature or the[specific] one. The rationale behind the choice of this particular population oflearners is to see whether these learners would use ‘the’ and ‘a’ in contextsother than the English [+/-definite] ones, given that they ought to have accessto all settings of the parameter; i.e. ‘the’ could be used in [-definite,+specific] contexts, and ‘a’ in [+definite, -specific] contexts. Using a numberof tests, they conclude that until they have received sufficient input pointingto the [+definite] feature as the correct option for English, L2 learners ofEnglish fluctuate between two possibilities when learning articles: articles aredistinguished 1. on the basis of definiteness, and 2. on the basis ofspecificity. Therefore, the “findings provide evidence for direct access touniversal semantic features in L2 acquisition, as well as for the reality of thefeature [+specific]” (263).

Chapter 4 (Acquisition of the Spanish Plural by French L1 Speakers: The Role ofTransfer), by de Garavito, considers the relation between overt morphology andsyntax in L2 acquisition: variable inflectional morphology is seen by some asindicative of problems with the morphosyntactic representation of the grammar inadult learners, a competence problem (e.g. Liceras 1997, Tsimpli and Roussou1991) 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 Garavitoreports on a disassociation between inflection and syntax found in Frenchlearners of L2 Spanish: she notes that these speakers show variability in theirproduction of the plural in Spanish; this cannot be predicted by transfer asFrench, like Spanish, has strong number features. On the other hand, thesespeakers 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 bytransfer -- not transfer in the domain of functional categories but rather atthe prosodic level” (272). The results of the study argue against inflectionalvariability as being the result of a representational functional deficit as wellas against the No Parameter Resetting Hypothesis (e.g. Liceras 1997) as “thelearners were able to acquire the relevant knowledge of Spanish syllablestructure” (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 thequestion of morphological variability in L2 acquisition -- more specifically,Mandarin and French learners of English (where French shares with English theovert morphological realization of the features considered, and Mandarin doesnot). She compares three current hypotheses to L2 morphological variability (theFailed Functional Features Hypothesis (FFFH), the Missing Surface InflectionHypothesis (MSIH), and the Prosodic Transfer Hypothesis (PTH)) and theirpredictions with respect to English verbal and nominal features. She then teststhe predictions in an experiment described in section 4. The three hypothesesare equally incapable of explaining one aspect of the results: the two groupsperform better on noun plurals than on 3rd singular verbal agreement. Moregenerally, none of the hypotheses seems to be capable on its own to account formorphological variability, which suggests that “... a combination of theories isnecessary in order to account for the performance of L2 speakers in themorphological domain” (321).

In chapter 2 (The Semantic Effects of Verb Raising and Its Consequences inSecond 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/existentialinterpretation, absence of raising is associated with a habitual/genericinterpretation. The study investigates the ability of highly proficient secondlanguage 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 contextsthat are either clearly progressive or clearly generic. The results show thatthe L2 groups under investigation can successfully distinguish betweenappropriate and inappropriate interpretations of the simple present/past tenseand the progressive and therefore, they must all have acquired the Englishfeature representations for T and v which are assumed to determine tense andprogressive. However, it is also shown that there are significant differencesbetween the two groups. In connection with how they judge the appropriateness of‘be+ing’ with an event-in-progress/existential reading, speakers of V-raisinglanguages are like the native control groups, while the Chinese/Japanesespeakers 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 ofV-raising languages are different from natives. “English appears to providepositive evidence for the uninterpretable [uInfl:] feature of v and the[uInfl:*] feature of Progressive” (348) associated with these distinctions, andtherefore, if UG is fully available in L2 acquisition, this will mean that allthe uninterpretable features will be represented regardless of L1 (contrary tofindings). The authors conclude, following Tsimpli, that “although interpretablesyntactic features provided by UG are available for use in grammar constructionthroughout life, uninterpretable features that are not instantiated in primarylanguage acquisition may be subject to a critical period. Where such featuresare 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 Prevostexamines the question of whether morphological variability reflects impairedgrammatical features in underlying grammars. He addresses this issue usingcross-sectional data. The results point to the correctness of the non-impairmentview of acquisition, i.e. there is evidence of knowledge of functionalcategories realizing finiteness, of features, and of feature strength.Similarly, the data show the Impairment Representation Hypothesis to beincorrect (e.g. finite verbs are shown to be placed to the left of negation mostof the time). “The results also suggest that L2 acquisition of syntax isindependent of the acquisition of morphology” (373): syntactic properties seemto be acquired despite the absence of inflectional morphology.

Chapter 4 (The Verbal Functional Domain in L2A and L3A: Tense and Agreement inCantonese-English-French Interlanguage) is contributed by Leung, whoinvestigates the question of L3 acquisition and its relation to L1 and L2acquisition. The author conducts experiments testing the status of tense andagreement features and feature strength in L1 Cantonese, L2 English, and L3French; more specifically, Leung aims to discover whether Cantonese L1 speakerslearning French as an L3 can build a TP with [+/-finite], [+/-past] andagreement features, and a [+strong] value. The idea is that if the L1 were theinitial state, the acquisition problem would be, for these learners, toconstruct a TP projection -- since Cantonese does not include one; if, on theother hand, the initial state were the L2 (English), then the problem wouldsimply be resetting the value for the [+strong] feature -- as English and Frenchdiffer in this respect. Contra the FFFH, the results show that the formalfeatures are still accessible in L2 and L3, even if they are not available inthe L1. Moreover, the data shows that not only does the L2 grammar facilitatethe 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 “themore languages one has acquired, the easier it will be for the learner toacquire a new additional language…” (399).

Section 2 Aspect.In Chapter 5 (On the Role of DP in the Acquisition of Finiteness in Child L2English) Gavruseva investigates the relationship, in child L2 Englishacquisition, between the acquisition of DP -- in particular, the feature Qembedded in the DP -- and the acquisition of finiteness in clauses (AspP). Sheargues that finiteness (tense and agreement) will not emerge until the Q anddefiniteness features have been acquired. In other words, “the underspecifiednature 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 thetwo features Q and D are underspecified, resulting in the overuse of RootInfinitives.

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

In Chapter 7 (Aspectual Shifts: Grammatical and Pragmatic Knowledge in L2Acquisition) Slabakova and Montrul investigate the possibility that“competence-performance discrepancies in the L2 acquisition of syntax andsemantics” results from the use of pragmatic knowledge. The authors make adistinction between grammatical knowledge and pragmatic knowledge. The formerinvolves features checked in the syntax; the latter requires the satisfaction ofcertain interface conditions, namely, the interface between discourse and syntax(which has been shown to be problematic for children). Therefore, “by focusingon the L2 acquisition of predicates that shift aspectual class under differentpragmatic conditions in Spanish, [the authors] ask whether L2 learners’non-targetlike linguistic behavior is due to pragmatic processing abilities orto differences in the operation of grammatical feature checking” (456). Thequestion underlying their study is “whether for English-speaking learners ofSpanish, aspectual shifts triggered by feature-checking aspectual operators likedirect objects, the telicity marker ‘se’, and grammatical aspect inflection areeasier to acquire than aspectual shifts triggered by more discourse pragmaticsignals such as adverbials” (464). The authors’ conclusion is that only theinvestigation of the semantics-pragmatics interface will be able to explain thedifferences between L1 and L2 acquisition.

Chapter 8 (Interpretable and Uninterpretable Features in the Acquisition ofSpanish Past Tenses; Diaz, Bel, and Bekiou) “deals with the acquisition of theaspectual contrasts conveyed by Spanish preterite and imperfect in relation tofour types of predicates: states, activities, accomplishments, andachievements”. After describing the different aspectual systems in the L1sunder investigation, and presenting a Minimalist Program view of aspect (wherethe distinction between [+/-interpretable] plays an important role), the authorsformulate a number of hypotheses to be tested. The analysis of the data showsthat Romance and Greek learners (whose L1s are related to Spanish) have anadvantage. For the other language types, difficulties arise in connection withactivities and accomplishments which “involve an interaction betweeninterpretable and uninterpretable features”. Overall, the authors maintain thatlearners from all L1 backgrounds will have difficulties with activities andaccomplishments precisely because telicity depends on the interaction ofinterpretable 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 rolethat CP features play in free relatives and headed relatives, and arguing thatexperience with free relatives facilitates the acquisition of headedconstructions, the authors review results from L1 studies which indicate: “(a)CP features are accessible to children and active in their construction ofrelative clauses; (b) language-specific information about the feature content ofCP is especially accessible in the free relative, and (c) children are able touse language-specific discoveries from the free relative in constructing thelexically headed form” (516). Using a previous study by Flynn (1989) whichshowed that CP features are available in L2 acquisition, and that, in case thetwo languages are similar, the L1 can facilitate L2 acquisition, the authorsconsider 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, ishead-initial” (516). A production study is undertaken where subjects are testedon free and headed relatives. “The findings support continuous accessibility ofCP in language acquisition in L1, L2, and beyond. Logically, therefore, theypoint 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 twogeneral theories of acquisition (the impairment vs. nonimpairment views --specifically, the No Parameter Resetting Hypothesis (NPRH) and the FullTransfer/Full Access Hypothesis (FTFA)) are compared with respect to theacquisition of topic constructions in L2 Spanish by native speakers of English.The idea is to test whether English speakers can learn the properties of Spanishtopic constructions which are not found in their L1, namely, recursive topics,clitic projections, and null anaphoric operators (also present in the L1). Theresults of the experimental tasks consisting of a sentence completion task andan oral grammaticality judgment task, suggest that “both functional projectionsand some associated properties that are not present in the L1 are acquirable inpost-childhood L2 acquisition. This evidence suggests that the L2 end-stategrammar can achieve nativelike competence, in principle, thereby providingevidence in favour of the FTFA” (556).

EVALUATION

In my opinion, the contribution of this volume is in providing an answer to thequestion: how has SLA research coped with developments in linguistic theory?Indeed, as mentioned in the preface, “this book is the first contributiondevoted to the use of feature-based linguistic theory in L2A research”. Not onlyhave features been shown here to constitute an important device for describing“parametric contrasts” between the L1, L2 (and L3), and for “describing alearner’s interlanguage grammar”, but they have also been used “to account fordifficulties or lack of success in L2A” (vii). In order to do so, most chaptersargue 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 thechapters together and allowing the book to have a clear-cut internal organization.

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

The introduction is another strong feature of the book in that the editors havesucceeded in linking together points from different articles. They have managedto do so by identifying certain issues and seeing how the different chapterswould deal with them. Comparing the various treatments, the introduction looksfor 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 CPfeatures (in particular, information structural features) have come to play inbridging the gap between pragmatics, syntax, and prosody, I would have expected(and wished) part IV to be more representative of this tendency, and to includemore chapters on topic/focus features. Indeed, Generative SLA, together withtypical theoretical syntactic research, has recently focused on the acquisitionof grammatical interfaces in discourse-configurational languages (in particular,syntax/information structure, and syntax/prosody interfaces) best understood inconnection 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 pluralallomorphs 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 genderagreement between the determiner and the noun, the authors have to speculatethat “the acquisition process proceeds so quickly that little time seems to beleft for errors to show up”. Another speculation can be found on p. 319, wherethe author, showing that the results are not consistent with the predictions ofthe MSIH, concludes the paragraph by saying that other results (Ionin and Wexler2002, p.109) are consistent with the MSIH, without elaborating on thesignificance/implications of this contradiction. At least one chapter (2.2) isconcerned primarily with children with SLI, whereas the collection is meant tobe primarily a study of L2 acquisition.

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

REFERENCES

Boskovic, Z. 1998. LF movement and the minimalist program. Proceedings of theannual 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 theacquisition of English relative clauses by adult Spanish and Japanese speakers.In S. Gass & J. Shachter (Eds.). Linguistic perspectives on Second LanguageAcquisition, 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. MITWorking Papers in Linguistics 19, 175-196.

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

Lardiere, D. 1998. Dissociating syntax from morphology in a divergent end-stategrammar. 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 secondlanguage acquisition? Evidence from tense and agreement. Second LanguageResearch 16(2), 103-133.

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

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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