Item Details

No fear of George Kinglsley Zipf: Language classroom, statistics and Universal Grammar

Issue: Vol 2 No. 2 (2018) Special Issue: Second Language Teaching and Generative Linguistics

Journal: Instructed Second Language Acquisition

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.1558/isla.37291


This paper offers a new insight into GenSLA classroom research in light of recent developments in the Minimalist Program (MP). Recent research in GenSLA has shown how generative linguistics and acquisition studies can inform the language classroom, mostly focusing on what linguistic aspects of target properties should be integrated as a part of the classroom input. Based on insights from Chomsky’s «three factors for language design» - which bring together the Faculty of Language, input and  general principles of economy and efficient computation (the third factor effect) for language development -  we put forward a theoretical rationale for how classroom research can offer a unique environment to test the learnability in L2 through the statistical enhancement of the input to which learners are exposed.

Author: Stefano Rastelli, Kook-Hee Gil

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