Taalverwerving in onderzoek
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Among researchers in SLA there is currently a debate on wheter or not L2 learners may have access to Universal Grammar. Clahsen & Muysken (1986), for example, claim that this should not be the case. This is because the interlanguage system of L2 learners should contain rules which do not belong to "a possible rule system". Felix (1987), Flynn (1984, 1985) and White (1987), however, claim that the interlanguage system of L2 learners consists of "instantiations of possible rules". Furthermore, L2 learners should possess linguistic knowledge that cannot be related to general learning principles, nor to linguistic knowledge of L1. In the present article evidence from a study by White (1987) with respect to the so-called "logical problem of language acquisition" and from studies by Flynn (1984, 1985) regarding the so-called "logical problem of language development" is examined critically. With regard to the acquisition of the thai-trace effect in L2 English by native speakers of Dutch it can be shown that it is not necessary to assume that L2 learners should have access to Universal Grammar. Similarly, it can be shown that evidence that is interpreted in favour of the resetting of the head-parameters in the L2 English of native speakers of Japanese and Chinese can also be explained alternatively. Methodologically it appears to be problematical to find empirical evidence for the use of Universal Grammar by adult learners of a second language.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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