File Name: language learnability and language development .zip
Learnability is the formal study of language acquisition in a mathematical and computational setting. It attempts to precisely specify the mechanisms of language learning, characterize the conditions that make language acquisition feasible, and provide guidance for the empirical research on child language development. In a typical setting of formal learnability Gold , the learner is presented with a sequence of examples drawn from an unknown target language, which can be viewed as a set of strings composed of an alphabet.
- Language learnability and language development
- Learnability and the Lexicon
- Second-language acquisition
The implications for first and second language acquisition are discussed. In particular, it is suggested that different parametric settings may lead to a learnability problem if adult learners do not retain access to sensitivity to underlying semantic organization and morphological differences between languages provided by Universal Grammar.
Before Steven Pinker wrote bestsellers on language and human nature, he wrote several technical monographs on language acquisition that have become classics in cognitive science. Learnability and Cognition , first published in , brought together two big topics: how do children learn their mother tongue, and how does the mind represent basic categories of meaning such as space, time, causality, agency, and goals? The stage for this synthesis was set by the fact that when children learn a language, they come to make surprisingly subtle distinctions: pour water into the glass and fill the glass with water sound natural, but pour the glass with water and fill water into the glass sound odd.
Language learnability and language development
Second-language acquisition SLA , sometimes called second-language learning — otherwise referred to as L2 language 2 acquisition , is the process by which people learn a second language.
Second-language acquisition is also the scientific discipline devoted to studying that process. The field of second-language acquisition is a sub-discipline of applied linguistics but also receives research attention from a variety of other disciplines, such as psychology and education.
A central theme in SLA research is that of interlanguage : the idea that the language that learners use is not simply the result of differences between the languages that they already know and the language that they are learning, but a complete language system in its own right, with its own systematic rules. This interlanguage gradually develops as learners are exposed to the targeted language. The order in which learners acquire features of their new language stays remarkably constant, even for learners with different native languages and regardless of whether they have had language instruction.
However, languages that learners already know can have a significant influence on the process of learning a new one. This influence is known as language transfer. The primary factor driving SLA appears to be the language input that learners receive. Learners become more advanced the longer they are immersed in the language they are learning and the more time they spend voluntarily reading. The input hypothesis developed by linguist Stephen Krashen theorizes that comprehensible input alone is necessary for second language acquisition.
Krashen makes a distinction between language acquisition and language learning the acquisition—learning distinction ,  claiming that acquisition is a subconscious process, whereas learning is a conscious one.
According to this hypothesis, the acquisition process in L2 Language 2 is the same as L1 Language 1 acquisition. Learning, on the other hand, refers to conscious learning and analysis of the language being learned. Subsequent work, by other researchers, on the interaction hypothesis and the comprehensible output hypothesis , has suggested that opportunities for output and interaction may also be necessary for learners to reach more advanced levels.
Research on how exactly learners acquire a new language spans several different areas. Focus is directed toward providing proof of whether basic linguistic skills are innate nature , acquired nurture , or a combination of the two attributes.
Cognitive approaches to SLA research deal with the processes in the brain that underpin language acquisition, for example how paying attention to language affects the ability to learn it, or how language acquisition is related to short-term and long-term memory.
Sociocultural approaches reject the notion that SLA is a purely psychological phenomenon and attempt to explain it in a social context. Some key social factors that influence SLA are the level of immersion, connection to the L2 community, and gender.
Linguistic approaches consider language separately from other kinds of knowledge and attempt to use findings from the wider study of linguistics to explain SLA.
There is also a considerable body of research about how SLA can be affected by individual factors such as age and learning strategies. A commonly discussed topic regarding age in SLA is the critical period hypothesis , which suggests that individuals lose the ability to fully learn a language after a particular age in childhood. Another topic of interest in SLA is the differences between adult and child learners. Learning strategies are commonly categorized as learning or communicative strategies and are developed to improve their respective acquisition skills.
Affective factors are emotional factors that influence an individual's ability to learn a new language. Common affective factors that influence acquisition are anxiety, personality, social attitudes, and motivation. Individuals may also lose a language through a process called second-language attrition.
This is often caused by lack of use or exposure to a language over time. The severity of attrition depends on a variety of factors including level of proficiency , age, social factors, and motivation at the time of acquisition. Finally, classroom research deals with the effect that language instruction has on acquisition. Second language refers to any language learned in addition to a person's first language ; although the concept is named second -language acquisition, it can also incorporate the learning of third, fourth, or subsequent languages.
The term acquisition was originally used to emphasize the non-conscious nature of the learning process, [note 1] but in recent years learning and acquisition have become largely synonymous. SLA can incorporate heritage language learning ,  but it does not usually incorporate bilingualism. Most SLA researchers see bilingualism as being the end result of learning a language, not the process itself, and see the term as referring to native-like fluency. Writers in fields such as education and psychology, however, often use bilingualism loosely to refer to all forms of multilingualism.
The academic discipline of second-language acquisition is a sub-discipline of applied linguistics. It is broad-based and relatively new. As well as the various branches of linguistics , second-language acquisition is also closely related to psychology and education. To separate the academic discipline from the learning process itself, the terms second-language acquisition research , second-language studies , and second-language acquisition studies are also used.
SLA research began as an interdisciplinary field; because of this, it is difficult to identify a precise starting date. In the early s, some research suggested an equivalence between the acquisition of human languages and that of computer languages e.
Java by children in the 5 to 11 year age window, though this has not been widely accepted amongst educators. There has been much debate about exactly how language is learned and many issues are still unresolved. There are many theories of second-language acquisition, but none are accepted as a complete explanation by all SLA researchers. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the field of SLA, this is not expected to happen in the foreseeable future.
Although attempts have been made to provide a more unified account that tries to bridge first language acquisition and second language learning research. Stephen Krashen divides the process of second-language acquisition into five stages: preproduction, early production, speech emergence, intermediate fluency, and advanced fluency.
Learners at this stage have a receptive vocabulary of up to words, but they do not yet speak their second language. Some learners start speaking straight away, although their output may consist of imitation rather than creative language use.
Others may be required to speak from the start as part of a language course. For learners that do go through a silent period, it may last around three to six months. The second of Krashen's stages of acquisition is early production, during which learners are able to speak in short phrases of one or two words.
They can also memorize chunks of language, although they may make mistakes when using them. Learners typically have both an active and receptive vocabulary of around words.
This stage normally lasts for around six months. The third stage is speech emergence. Learners' vocabularies increase to around words during this stage, and they can communicate using simple questions and phrases. They may often make grammatical errors. The fourth stage is intermediate fluency. At this stage, learners have a vocabulary of around words, and can use more complicated sentence structures. They are also able to share their thoughts and opinions.
Learners may make frequent errors with more complicated sentence structures. The final stage is advanced fluency, which is typically reached somewhere between five and ten years of learning the language. Learners at this stage can function at a level close to native speakers.
Krashen has also developed a number of hypotheses discussing the nature of second language learners' thought processes and the development of self-awareness during second language acquisition. The most prominent of these hypotheses are Monitor Theory and the Affective Filter hypothesis.
The time taken to reach a high level of proficiency can vary depending on the language learned. Department of State — which compiled approximate learning expectations for a number of languages for their professional staff native English speakers who generally already know other languages. Italian and Swedish 24 weeks or class hours and French 30 weeks or class hours.
Of the 63 languages analyzed, the five most difficult languages to reach proficiency in speaking and reading, requiring 88 weeks class hours, Category IV Languages , are Arabic , Cantonese , Mandarin , Japanese , and Korean. The Foreign Service Institute and the National Virtual Translation Center both note that Japanese is typically more difficult to learn than other languages in this group.
The bottleneck hypothesis strives to identify components of grammar that are easier or more difficult to acquire than others. It argues that functional morphology is the bottleneck of language acquisition, meaning that it is more difficult than other linguistic domains such as syntax, semantics, and phonology because it combines syntactic, semantic, and phonological features that affect the meaning of a sentence.
Article acquisition is also difficult for L1 speakers of languages without articles, such as Korean and Russian. One study compared learner judgments of a syntactic feature, V2 , and a morphological property, subject-verb agreement , using an acceptability judgment task. Researchers found that while Norwegian speakers who are intermediate and advanced learners of English could successfully assess the grammaticality of V2, they had significantly more difficulty with subject-verb agreement, which is predicted by the bottleneck hypothesis.
Cognitive and scientific reasons for the importance of this theory aside, the bottleneck hypothesis can also be of practical benefit as educators can maximize their time and focus on difficult problems in SLA classroom settings rather than placing attention on concepts that can be grasped with relative ease. This hypothesis claims that second-language acquisition may impose extra difficulties on children with specific language impairment SLI , whose language delay extends into their school years due to deficits in verbal memory and processing mechanisms in comparison to children with typical development TD.
Existing research on individuals with SLI and bilingualism has been limited and thus there is a need for data showing how to support bilingual development in children with SLI. The theory predicts that bilingual children with SLI will be disadvantaged, falling behind both their monolingual peers with SLI and bilingual peers with TD.
Paradis ' longitudinal study examined the acquisition of tense morphology over time in children with SLI who are learning English as a second language. Adults who learn a second language differ from children learning their first language in at least three ways: children are still developing their brains whereas adults have mature minds, and adults have at least a first language that orients their thinking and speaking.
Although some adult second-language learners reach very high levels of proficiency, pronunciation tends to be non-native. This lack of native pronunciation in adult learners is explained by the critical period hypothesis.
When a learner's speech plateaus, it is known as fossilization. Some errors that second-language learners make in their speech originate in their first language. For example, Spanish speakers learning English may say "Is raining" rather than "It is raining", leaving out the subject of the sentence. This kind of influence of the first language on the second is known as negative language transfer.
French speakers learning English, however, do not usually make the same mistake of leaving out "it" in "It is raining. Not all errors occur in the same ways; even two individuals with the same native language learning the same second language still have the potential to utilize different parts of their native language. Likewise, these same two individuals may develop near-native fluency in different forms of grammar.
Also, when people learn a second language, the way they speak their first language changes in subtle ways. These changes can be with any aspect of language, from pronunciation and syntax to the gestures the learner makes and the language features they tend to notice. Learner language is the written or spoken language produced by a learner. It is also the main type of data used in second-language acquisition research. It is not yet possible to inspect these representations directly with brain scans or similar techniques, so SLA researchers are forced to make inferences about these rules from learners' speech or writing.
Originally, attempts to describe learner language were based on comparing different languages and on analyzing learners' errors. However, these approaches weren't able to predict all the errors that learners made when in the process of learning a second language.
Learnability and the Lexicon
This classic study is still the only comprehensive theory of child language acquisition—one that begins with the infant, proceeds step by step according to explicit learning algorithms, mirrors children's development, and ends up with adult grammatical competence. Now reprinted with new commentary by the author that updates of every section, Language Learnability and Language Development continues to be an indispensible resource in developmental psycholinguistics. Skip to main content. Main Menu Utility Menu Search. Citation: Pinker, S. Download Citation. See also: Books.
No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through automated and manual processes using the recommendations for Level 2 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file.
Learnability and Linguistic Theory pp Cite as. Recent theories of Universal Grammar have placed an increased emphasis on the notion of markedness as an explanatory principle e. Marked rules are those that generate constructions that are statistically rare across languages or across the lexical items of a single language, and such rules usually violate some formal principle that holds of otherwise similar rules in a grammar. Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
Reviewed by: Language acquisition and learnability ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN
Разве не так, коммандер. - Ни в коем случае! - отрезал Стратмор.
Сьюзан переживала из-за того, что ей пришлось солгать любимому человеку, но у нее не было другого выхода. Все, что она сказала, было правдой еще несколько лет назад, но с тех пор положение в АН Б изменилось. Да и весь мир криптографии изменился. Новые обязанности Сьюзан были засекречены, в том числе и для многих людей в высших эшелонах власти. - Шифры, - задумчиво сказал Беккер - Откуда ты знаешь, с чего начинать.
В бомбах было разное топливо. В одной урановое, в другой плутониевое. Это два разных элемента. Люди на подиуме перешептывались. - Уран и плутоний! - воскликнул Джабба, и в его голосе впервые послышались нотки надежды. - Нам нужно установить разницу между этими элементами.
Дэвид, ты превзошел самого. Люди на подиуме с недоумением переглянулись. Дэвид подмигнул крошечной Сьюзан на своем мониторе. - Шестьдесят четыре буквы.
EDU И далее текст сообщения: ГРОМАДНЫЙ ПРОГРЕСС. ЦИФРОВАЯ КРЕПОСТЬ ПОЧТИ ГОТОВА. ОНА ОТБРОСИТ АНБ НАЗАД НА ДЕСЯТИЛЕТИЯ. Сьюзан как во сне читала и перечитывала эти строки. Затем дрожащими руками открыла следующее сообщение.
Хакеры подобны гиенам: это одна большая семья, радостно возвещающая о любой возможности поживиться. Лиланд Фонтейн решил, что с него довольно этого зрелища. - Выключите, - приказал .
- Почему он не звонит. Вода из горячей постепенно превратилась в теплую и, наконец, холодную. Она уже собиралась вылезать, как вдруг ожил радиотелефон.