This article concerns Ionin's (2003) Article Choice Parameter Hypothesis, which proposes a new semantic classification of languages. Article-based languages distribute articles on the basis of either a definiteness or a specificity parameter. Ionin's (2003) study shows that Russian and Korean (article-less) learners of L2 English (article-based) acquire articles fluctuating between a choice based on definiteness or on specificity. Since a choice based on specificity exists neither in L1 nor in L2, Ionin (2003) hypothesizes that Universal Grammar (UG) can play a role in this choice. The present article shows that even if both L1 and L2 are article-based languages, L2 learners fluctuate between a choice of articles based on definiteness or on specificity. Following Ionin, this could mean that such L2 learners fluctuate because they still have access to UG. The authors discuss this option and provide an alternative explanation for the fluctuation.
Proceedings of the 9th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2007)
edited by Roumyana Slabakova, Jason Rothman, Paula Kempchinsky, and Elena Gavruseva
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