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THE ACQUISITION OF THE IP SYSTEM IN CHILD L2 ENGLISH

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 September 2001

Belma Haznedar
Affiliation:
Bogğazicçi University

Abstract

This study examines the acquisition of the inflectional system by a Turkish child learner of English. Results from longitudinal data collected over 18 months are reported, presenting counterevidence for recent hypotheses on early L2 acquisition according to which missing functional items reflect missing functional categories (e.g., Vainikka & Young-Scholten, 1994, 1996a, 1996b). Despite robust evidence for the early production of copula be, auxiliary be, and overt subjects, the child L2 data analyzed in this paper do not show any evidence for tense and agreement morphology in the early stages of L2 development. In other words, although some functional elements related to IP are missing, the learner is able to perform other morphological and syntactic operations involving the functional projection IP. These findings lead us to question whether the lack of functional elements entails the lack of functional categories.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2001 Cambridge University Press

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