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Accounting for Optionality in Nonnative Grammars: Parametric Change in Diachrony and L2 Development as Instances of Internalized Diglossia
Helmut Zobl and Juana M. Liceras
283-291 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


The Competing Grammars Hypothesis is introduced as a way of accounting for syntactic optionality during parametric change in diachrony and in L2A. According to this hypothesis, in periods of parametric change when input data is ambiguous, learners internalize two or more incompatible grammatical representations (internalized diglossia) to account for the primary data. These compete against each other in usage, hence the appearance of syntactic optionality. Several parametric changes in Old/Middle English and in L2A are shown to evidence parallels in terms of the incremental nature of the changes and their sequencing. The hypothesis is advocated as an alternative framework to the L1/L2 Difference Paradigm for advancing our understanding of the nature of L2A.

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