Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 28 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Children, at least children acquiring their native language (L1), develop grammars vastly underdetermined by the primary linguistic data available to them, converging on both obvious and subtle properties of the target language (TL), rapidly, (essentially) uniformly, and reflexively (i.e., without effort or intentional instruction). In contrast, (adult) nonnative language (L2) acquisition, even under optimal conditions of TL exposure, displays more varied outcomes, frequently with readily observable divergence from the TL, often despite concerted effort and instruction. The standard assumption in mainstream generative grammar is that (L1) children display target convergence because early language acquisition is guided and constrained by the set of innate domain-specific cognitive structures generally referred to as Universal Grammar (UG). This chapter considers conceptual issues surrounding as well as empirical evidence for and against the claim that (despite initial appearances) some or all of the principles and primes of UG likewise guide and constrain (adult) L2 acquisition.

Keywords: bankruptcy of the stimulus, Critical Period Hypothesis, failed functional features, full transfer, full access, Fundamental Difference Hypothesis, interlanguage, poverty of the stimulus, second language acquisition

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.