Three equations: A formalist perspective on language acquisition
Charles Yang
February 2018

Language acquisition is a computational process by which language-specific experience is integrated into the learner’s initial stage of knowledge. To understand language acquisition thus requires precise statements about these components and their interplay, stepping beyond the philosophical and methodological disputes in the field such as the generative vs. usage-based approaches. I review three simple equations that have guided the study of child language acquisition: How learners form and select linguistic hypotheses, and how re- searchers assess the progress of language acquisition with rigor and clarity. Furthermore, I suggest that these equations are equally applicable to second language acquisition, yielding potentially important insights on the continuities and differences between child and adult language.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003872
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism (Target article)
keywords: language acquisition, l1, l2, computational linguistics, corpus linguistics, productivity, usage-based, morphology, syntax, phonology
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