Universal Grammar metaphors
S1 S2 S3 S4 Sn
The states metaphor in L1 acquisition – zero to final states
The LAD/UG/blackbox Model
Principles and parameters theory
‘The basic assumption of the P&P model is that languages have no rules at all in anything like the traditional sense, and no grammatical constructions (relative clauses, passives, etc.) except as taxonomic artifacts.’ (Chomsky, 1994, p.3).
X-bar principle: every phrase has a head and a possible complement
head X Complement
bought a book
The Head Parameter
phrase Japanese Verb phrase
head Verb Noun Phrase Noun Phrase head Verb
bought a book hon-o katta
preposition phrase Japanese preposition phrase
head preposition Noun Phrase Noun Phrase head postposition
in England nihon ni
structure head-last structure
any lexical phrase any lexical phrase
head phrase phrase head
V bought NP a book O hon-o V katta
Prepositional P in NP England P nihon NP ni
Adjective Phrase A afraid PP of dogs NP inu o A kowagatte
Noun Phrase N the claim NP that he’s NP zibun ga N schichoo
right tadashi-to- iu
The Head Parameter: a particular language consistently has the heads on the same side of the complements in all its phrases, whether head-first or head-last.
The principle of structure-dependency
was fired by the manager.
2. The manager fired Cantona.
3. The manager fired Cantona.
4 Cantona was fired by the manager.
manager fired Cantona
1 2 3 4
Tuesday the manager fired Cantona.
1 2 3 4 5 6
on Tuesday the was fired Cantona.
8. The manager fired the player.
9. *The was fired player by the manager.
10. The player who once played for England and used to appear in TV commercials for soft drinks was fired by the manager.
11. Will the manager fire Cantona?
manager will fire Cantona
13. On Tuesday the manager will fire Cantona.
14. The manager who will fire Cantona will succeed.
15. Will the manager who will fire Cantona succeed?
16. *Will the manager who fire Cantona will succeed?
17. Is the man who is here tall?
18. *Is the man who here is tall?
Está el hombre, que está contento, en las casa?
(Is the man, who is happy, at home?)
Is the man who is happy at home?
UG & L2 Learning References
Bley-Vroman, R.W., Felix, S., & Ioup, G.L. (1988), 'The accessibility of Universal Grammar in adult language learning', Second Language Research, 4, 1, 1-32
Chomsky, N. (1988), Language and Problems of Knowledge: The Managua Lectures, MIT Press
Cook, V.J. (1993), Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition, Macmillan
Cook, V.J. (1994), 'UG and the metaphor of access', in N. Ellis (ed.), Implicit Learning of Language, Academic Press
Cook, V.J. (1997), Inside Language, Arnold
Clahsen, H., & Muysken, P. (1986), 'The availability of universal grammar to adult and child learners - a study of the acquisition of German word order', Second Language Research, 2, 2, 93-119
Eubank, L. (ed.), Point Counterpoint: Universal Grammar in the Second Language, Amsterdam, Benjamins, 305-338
Flynn, S. (1988), 'Second Language Acquisition and Grammatical Theory', in F. Newmeyer (ed.), Linguistics: The Cambridge Survey, Cambridge University Press
White, L. (1989), Universal Grammar and Second Language Acquisition, Amsterdam, John Benjamins