Comparative perspectives on language acquisition : a tribute by Marzena Watorek, Sandra Benazzo, Maya Hickmann

By Marzena Watorek, Sandra Benazzo, Maya Hickmann

This quantity goals to supply a extensive view of moment language acquisition inside of a comparative point of view that addresses effects touching on grownup and baby novices throughout numerous resource and aim languages. It brings jointly contributions on the vanguard of language acquisition study that reflect on quite a lot of open questions: What are the suitable mechanisms underlying acquisition? How will we represent freshmen' preliminary kingdom and expect their measure of ultimate fulfillment? What position do particular (typological) homes of resource and aim languages play? How does fossilization ensue? How does the relative complexity of cognitive platforms in grownup and baby inexperienced persons impact acquisition? Does language studying impression cognitive association? Can language studying make clear our normal realizing of human language and language processing?

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We pass through this long and tedious process which we call language acquisition once, and frequently more often, in life. It can take very different forms, depending on factors such as • • • age, learning conditions, previous linguistic knowledge and perhaps many others. The course, speed and eventual result of this process vary considerably according to these factors. This is what language acquisition researchers aim to find out. (2) Language acquisition is not the only possible transition between ‘language’ as a biologically given language faculty, which is more or less the same for all human beings (though minor variation is not excluded), and ‘language’ as specific linguistic systems, which are quite different from each other, and of which there are several thousands on earth.

The chances of rendering this intervention successful increase with our understanding of the regularities which underlie the naturally occurring process, that is, the regularities of what is often called ‘untutored language acquisition’, as if tutored language acquisition were the normal case. In fact, there is one sense in which tutored language acquisition is indeed the normal case: by far most work on second language acquisition is devoted to learning in the classroom. This has two massive consequences: (a) the study of second language acquisition is primarily concerned with a very special, quite artificial form of language acquisition, rather than the natural one; (b) it is dictated by the teacher’s perspective, rather than that of the learner.

These means allow the learner to specify temporal relations such as BEFORE, AFTER. g. the time of utterance). It can also express duration and frequency of time spans. Suppose that some time span t, about which the speaker wants to say something – the topic time (TT) – is introduced. This topic time must be clearly distinguished from the time of the situation (TSit), the time at which the event, process or state obtains in time. The topic time may be ‘100% in the action’, but it can also precede it, follow it or include it.

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