Abstract and Keywords
The importance of formal linguistics on second language acquisition is the basis of this article. Before considering the contributions of formal linguistics to the study of second language acquisition, a definition of formal linguistics is necessary. Linguists disagree on the scope of formal linguistics, so any definition of the field will be controversial. For clarity, this article understands formal linguistics to be a theory of natural language that meets the requirements of explanatory adequacy. Linguistic theories have an “essential but not exclusive” role to play in studies of language acquisition. Their position is adopted in this overview—formal theories have a major role to play in one sub domain of a general theory of SLA. Linguistic competence is the tacit knowledge of the abstract properties of the language(s) we speak. Formal linguistics does not address issues of language use directly. Formal linguistic theory has a crucial role in the explanation of second language linguistic competence.
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.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.