Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0019-0829
  • E-ISSN: 1783-1490
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


In recent years, applied linguists have been much concerned with the description of linguistic behaviour previously labelled as «deviant». In particular, a technique known as «error analysis» has been developed by means of which it is claimed access is gained to the «transitional competence» of the L2 learner thus making the description of the learner's «interlanguage» and the explanation of the systematic nature of the errors generated by its grammar possible. Such a Technique can, if its claims are justified, be of inestimable value to linguist, teacher and learner but equally, if its claims are false, can lead to invalid assumptions concerning the nature of the «interlanguage», the form of appropriate teaching materials and learning strategies employed by learners.

It is suggested here, that in addition to being based on a number of false assumptions and offering a partly spurious assistance to those engaged in the language learning process, error analysis is in itself, an inadmissable which purports to contain a methodology that is, in part, impossible in principle and in part, in practice.

Hence, we need to reconsider the status of the concept «interlanguage», the analytical techniques involved in its description and the validity of the claims made for both.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


    , Studies in Phonetics & Linguistics, O.U.P (London) 1965.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. , «Pseudo-procedures in Linguistics», 1st published 1963 & reprinted in Abercrombie 1965, 114–119.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. BELL R. T.
    , An analysis of the Grammar of the English spoken by Indian Immigrants in Smethwick. Unpublished MA thesis: University of Birmingham 1966.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. , «The English of an Indian Immigrant; an Essay in Error Analysis», inITL, Louvain, 22 1973, 11–61.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. DE CECCO J. P.
    , The Psychology of Language, Thought & Instruction: Readings. Holt Rinehart & Winston Inc. (New York) 1967.
    [Google Scholar]
    , Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. M.I.T. Press (Cambridge Mass.) 1965.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. CORDER S.P.
    , «The significance of learners'errors», article inIRAL, 4 1967, 161–170.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. , «Idiosyncratic Dialects and Error Analysis», inIRAL, 9 1971, 147–160.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. CORDER S. P.
    , «The Elicitation of Interlanguage», inSvartvik 1973, 36–47.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. , Introducing Applied Linguistics. Penguin, Harmondsworth 1973.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. FRIES C.C. & PIKE K.L.
    , «Coexistent Phonemic Systems», inLanguage, 25 1949, 29–50.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. GLEASON H.A.
    , An Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics. Holt. (New York) 1955, revised edn. 1961.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. , Linguistics and English Grammar. Holt, Rinehart & Winston Inc (New York) 1965.
    [Google Scholar]
    , Prolegomena to a Theory of Language. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison 1943.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. HYMES D.
    , On Communicative Competence, Original paper 1971 — exerpts in Pride & Holmes eds. 1972, 269–293.
    [Google Scholar]
    , «The Identification and Evaluation of Errors in Foreign Languages : A Functional Approach», inSvartvik 1973, 102–114.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. LADO R.
    , English Pattern Pratices. Univ. Michigan, Ann Arbor 1958.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. MILLER G. A.
    , «Some Psychological Studies of Grammar», in de Cecco ed. 1967, 38–55.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. NEMSER W. J.
    , «Approximative Systems of Foreign Language Learners», inIRAL, 9 1971, 115–123.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. PRIDE J. B. & HOLMES J.
    eds. Sociolinguistics: selected readings. Penguin, Harmondsworth 1972.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. QUINE W.V.O.
    , From a logical point of view. Harvard UP 1953, revized ednHarper & Row, New York 1961.
    [Google Scholar]
    , Languages in contact. Mouton & Co. (The Hague) 1953.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. , «Is a Structural Dialectology Possible?», article inWord, 10, 1952, 388–400.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. THORNE J.P.
    , «Stylistics and generative grammars», inJournal of Linguistics, I, 1 1965, 49–59.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. SVARTIK J.
    , Errata-Papers in Error Analysis. CWK Gleerup, Lund 1973.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error