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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."

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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: All acquisition begins with the projection of a bare verb phrase
Author: Anne Vainikka
Institution: Johns Hopkins University
Author: Martha Young-Scholten
Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: German
Abstract: One of the main conclusions that we (Vainikka & Young-Scholten, 1994) make in regard to the second language (L2) German development of uninstructed Korean and Turkish adults was the resemblance of their morphosyntactic development to that of the German children under study at the time by Harald Clahsen and colleagues (see, e.g., Clahsen, Eisenbeiss, & Vainikka, 1994; Clahsen & Penke, 1992). Data from these L2 learners also indicated initial transfer of the headedness of their native language verb phrases (VPs), a claim then strengthened by research on L2 learners whose first language (L1) headedness differed from German, namely, Italian and Spanish (Vainikka & Young-Scholten, 1996). L2 learners' initial grammars were argued to consist of just a “bare” VP, based on comprehensive lack of inflectional morphology and complex syntax, and similar to children acquiring L1 German, these L2 learners' nonfinite verb forms were typically in final position, either early on (for head-final Korean and Turkish speakers) or a bit later, once headedness shifted to the German value from head-initial (for Italian and Spanish speakers). Similar to child L1 learners, the L2 morphosyntactic data pointed to subsequent projection of a head-initial underspecified functional projection and, with sufficient input, projection of higher functional projections. Apart from some details, the claim was that for children and adults learning German, acquisition is defined by the emergence of syntactic projections and the morphology associated with them.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 31, Issue 2.

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