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The Mapping Problem and Missing Surface Inflection in Turkish-German Interlanguage
John D. Sundquist
238-250 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper focuses on the variable use of verbal inflectional morphology in the production data of an adult Turkish native-speaker acquiring German. Data are used to confirm the Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis (MSIH) from Haznedar and Schwartz (1997) and Prévost and White (2000) and to address the issue of the so-called "Mapping Problem" (Lardiere 2000), or the difficulty that some L2ers have in linking abstract features to surface inflection. Although the general results of this longitudinal study favor the MSIH, there are two types of recurring examples in the production data here that seem to lend support to competing theories from Eubank (1993/1994, 1996) and Vainikka and Young-Scholten (1994, 1996, 1998). By allowing for null auxiliaries as an underspecified form in the mapping process and by assuming that a learner's L1 blocks this process in various ways, the author can maintain the assumptions of the MSIH. This paper explains these problematic examples and suggests revisions of the proposal in Prévost and White (2000) that makes use of Distributed Morphology to explain the mapping problem.

Published in

Proceedings of the 7th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2004)
edited by Laurent Dekydtspotter, Rex A. Sprouse, and Audrey Liljestrand
Table of contents
Printed edition: $280.00