Chapter 4. Interlanguage, transfer and fossilization

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Selinker&#8217;s (1972) Interlanguage proposal lies at the heart of linguistic approaches to adult second language acquisition, especially subsumed under the theory of Universal Grammar. Much research in recent years has directly addressed the <i>what</i>, <i>how</i>, and <i>why</i> of transfer and fossilization, yet these are not unique to adult L2 learners, but can also be found in other bilingual situations. This chapter discusses first how the generative linguistics perspective has contributed to refining and clarifying Selinker&#8217;s idea, while the second part takes issue with Selinker&#8217;s characterization of bilingual varieties and illustrates transfer and fossilization in individual bilingualism more broadly defined. The chapter concludes with questions for future directions to pursue a deeper understanding of the interlanguage phenomenon beyond second language acquisition.


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