Language and Speech Laboratory

L3 morphosyntax in the generative tradition: From the initial state and beyond

Authors
María del Pilar García Mayo, Jason Rothman.

Book
Third Language Acquisition in Adulthood

Publisher
John Benjamins

Editor
Jennifer Cabrelli Amaro, Susanne Flynn and Jason Rothman

Pages
9-32.

Year
2012
Abstract
This chapter introduces the nascent field of third language (L3) morphosyntactic acquisition research that adopts generative theory. We briefly introduce the main tenets of generative linguistic theory and how it has been applied to cases of child first (L1) and adult second (L2) acquisition. After justifying why it is prudent and profitable to treat L3/Ln learners as unique cases of adult acquisition as opposed to another instance of adult L2 acquisition, we review selected studies that have shaped the current research program in generative L3 morphosyntax research. Finally, we offer some insights on how the study of L3 acquisition can shed a unique light on questions of significant importance to generative linguistic and acquisition theories in general and ponder future research directions.