Article published in:The Development of Grammar: Language acquisition and diachronic change. In honour of Jürgen M. Meisel
Edited by Esther Rinke and Tanja Kupisch
[Hamburg Studies on Multilingualism 11] 2011
► pp. 19–46
‘Acquisition’ in grammatical development
What does word order tell us?
Jürgen M. Meisel has long championed parameter-setting as an account of the development of word order in monolingual and bilingual first language acquisition. For second language learners, he has proposed that development is to be explained by induction but does not provide detail as to what the mechanisms are or how they operate. In my contribution, I examine such claims more closely discussing statistical learning and inductive inference (problem-solving) and their relevance for learning word order. I suggest that word order can be teased apart from dominance relations in syntax and that properly testing claims about fundamental differences between L1 and L2 learning requires information about dominance and scope in interlanguage grammars.
Keywords: induction, Principles and Parameters Theory, problem-solving, second language acquisition, verb-raising, word order
Published online: 25 May 2011