Current research in second language (L2) acquisition has focused particularly on the failure of L2 learners to produce verbal inflectional morphology associated with functional categories. The question is whether the frequent omission of verbal inflection means that functional categories are impaired in L2 grammars. For some, the absence of target-like inflectional suffixes has been taken as the primary evidence for defective L2 grammars (e.g. Eubank (1993, 1994, 1996) and Vainikka and Young-Scholten (1994, 1996a, 1996b, 1998). For others, the lack or variable use of morphological forms in interlanguage grammars reflects a problem with the realization of surface morphology, rather than an impairment in the domain of functional projections or feature strength (Haznedar and Schwartz, 1997; Haznedar, 2001; Lardiere, 1998a, 1998b, 2000; Prévost and White, 2000a, 2000b). This study investigates the variable use of verbal and nominal inflection in child and adult L2 acquisition, arguing for the position that the lack of functional elements should not be taken as evidence for the absence of the associated functional categories.
Proceedings of the 6th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2002): L2 Links
edited by Juana M. Liceras, Helmut Zobl, and Helen Goodluck
Table of contents