Phonology in Multilingual Grammars

Representational Complexity and Linguistic Interfaces
Publisher: OUP USA
Date of Publication:
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Product details:

No. of pages:280 pages
Size:160x226x25 mm
Short description:

This book uses linguistic theory to explain the complex knowledge that bilinguals have about the sound systems (phonology) of the languages they know. John Archibald probes the nature of the underlying mental grammar of bilinguals, providing examples to build the argument that such a grammar is richly structured and highly complex. He emphasizes that phonology is about cognition, not the physics of sound. By showing that second language learners' grammars are complex (even when they speak with an accent), this book helps overcome some of the negative stereotypes of non-native speakers around the world.

Long description:
This book explores questions about the nature of an interlanguage grammar, i.e. the grammar of a bilingual. John Archibald approaches these questions within a cognitive science perspective that draws upon abstract representational structures in demonstrating that phonological knowledge underlies the surface phonetic properties of L2 speech. Specifically, he proposes that interlanguage grammars are not 'impaired', 'fundamentally different', or 'shallow' (as some have argued); the phonological grammars are complex, hierarchically-structured, mental representations that are governed by the principles of linguistic theory, including those of Universal Grammar. The book outlines a model that addresses Plato's problem (learning in the absence of evidence) and Orwell's problem (resistance to learning in the face of abundant evidence). Furthermore, the study of grammatical interfaces--phonetics/phonology; phonology/morphology; phonology/syntax--reveals the necessary design conditions for an internally-consistent architecture for a comprehensive model of second language speech. The resulting empirically-motivated model is parsimonious in accounting for all aspects of L2 speech from phonological feature, to segment, to word, to sentence. The book concludes by discussing why phonology has been underrepresented in generative approaches to second language acquisition, and examining some of the implications of second language phonology for applied linguistics and language pedagogy.

The book proposes sophisticated theoretical solutions to many long-standing problems in second language phonology, and does so by showing the centrality of phonology to many L2 phenomena. It illustrates how a common set of linguistic principles account for diverse phenomena ranging from phonology to morphology and syntax, thereby treating phonology as more than the physics of muscle movement, avoiding a fallacy followed by many previous approaches. This is an essential reading for anyone working on second language acquisition, not just of phonology." -Öner Özçelik, Indiana University
Table of Contents:
List of figures
List of tables
List of abbreviations
1. Overture
2. Phonological Grammars
3. The Phonetics/Phonology Interfac
4. The Phonology/Morphology Interface
5. The Phonology/Syntax Interface
6. Underture
Appendix A: Reading Sentences
Appendix B: Subject Profiles