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Testing the Availability of Universal Grammar in Second Language Acquisition: The Governing Category Parameter and the Proper Antecedent Parameter in Japanese as a Second Langauge

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Title: Testing the Availability of Universal Grammar in Second Language Acquisition: The Governing Category Parameter and the Proper Antecedent Parameter in Japanese as a Second Langauge
Authors: Shimura, Akihiko
Keywords: universa grammar
transfer
fundamental difference
adult second language acquisition
japanese as a second language
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Issue Date: 1990
Abstract: To solve the logical problem of L1 acquisition, a domain-specific Universal Grammar (UG) has been proposed. Is UG also available in adult SLA? There are three competing hypotheses with regard to this question in SLA literature: (1) the UG-Subset Principle Hypothesis (U-SPH), (2) the UG-Transfer Hypothesis (U TH), and (3) the Fundamental Difference Hypothesis (FDH). They appear to be all theoretically motivated and empirically supported in the literature.
Two studies with experimental designs were devised to systematically compare and test these three hypotheses to answer the question of the availability of UG in adult SLA. In the first study, the acquisition of he Proper Antecedent Parameter h Japanese as a Second Language (JSL) was investigated in order to compare the U-SPH with the U-TH and the FDH, while the second study looked at the acquisition of the Governing Category Parameter in JSL in order to compare the U-SPH and the U-TH with the FDH. 48 native-speakers of English worked on a picture identification task in these studies. 16 native speakers (NS) of Japanese and 16 NSs of English also participated as control groups.
The results of the two studies supported the Fundamental Difference Hypothesis, which proposes that UG is no longer available in its entirety in SLA. UG is available only through L1. Suggestions were also made for the future research.
To solve the logical problem of L1 acquisition, a domain-specific Universal Grammar (UG) has been proposed. Is UG also available in adult SLA? There are three competing hypotheses with regard to this question in SLA literature: (1) the UG-Subset Principle Hypothesis (U-SPH), (2) the UG-Transfer Hypothesis (U TH), and (3) the Fundamental Difference Hypothesis (FDH). They appear to be all theoretically motivated and empirically supported in the literature.
Two studies with experimental designs were devised to systematically compare and test these three hypotheses to answer the question of the availability of UG in adult SLA. In the first study, the acquisition of he Proper Antecedent Parameter h Japanese as a Second Language (JSL) was investigated in order to compare the U-SPH with the U-TH and the FDH, while the second study looked at the acquisition of the Governing Category Parameter in JSL in order to compare the U-SPH and the U-TH with the FDH. 48 native-speakers of English worked on a picture identification task in these studies. 16 native speakers (NS) of Japanese and 16 NSs of English also participated as control groups.
The results of the two studies supported the Fundamental Difference Hypothesis, which proposes that UG is no longer available in its entirety in SLA. UG is available only through L1. Suggestions were also made for the future research.
Pages/Duration: 135 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/37666
Appears in Collections:Occasional Papers



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