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SECOND LANGUAGE EPISTEMOLOGY

Take Two

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 June 2009

Laurent Dekydtspotter
Affiliation:
Indiana University
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Abstract

This article presents evidence that supports the claim that second language (L2) grammars arise in a domain-specific, informationally encapsulated module with contents provided by Universal Grammar and enriched by native language knowledge, as entertained by Schwartz (1986, 1987, 1999) contra Bley-Vroman (1990). I consider state-of-the-art evidence representative of a body of research on the poverty of the stimulus (POS) that argues for the domain-specificity of L2 representations, with a main focus on interpretation. Then I examine interpretive evidence relevant to the role of informational encapsulation and compositionality in SLA. I seek to demonstrate that the acquisition of syntax-linked interpretive properties where the POS is severe provides opportunities for a type of fingerprinting of mental organization that can inform a variety of epistemologically relevant questions.

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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