Chapter 7. Methodological influences of “Interlanguage” (1972)
This chapter examines the impact of Selinker’s claim that certain data were inappropriate for SLA research: grammaticality judgments and nonsense syllables. The field has gradually come to understand SLA through multiple data types, so that the current view is that data are not appropriate or inappropriate in a vacuum, but rather need to be understood in the context of the research questions asked. The chapter describes the data used in studies prior to 1972, and then focuses on grammaticality judgments and nonsense data, including artificial languages, in studies after 1972. Although both data types are common in current SLA research, Selinker problematized their use and made us consider what we can learn from data other than elicited speech.