Learning & Teaching Foreign Languages

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About emergentism

Read and Reflect

Read Emergentism and Second Language Acquisition by William O'Grady and colleagues at the University of Hawai'i.

From the first paper,

  1. What is the emergentist thesis for language?
  2. How does O'Grady distinguish the emergentist approach from UG in his conclusion
     

ANSWERS 1&2

1. What is the emergentist thesis for language?

The phenomena of language are best explained by reference to more basic non-linguistic (i.e., "non-grammatical" factors and their interaction)

2. How does O'Grady distinguish the emergentist approach from UG in his conclusion?

the core properties of language are best understood by reference to the properties of quite general cognitive mechanisms and their interaction with each other and experience

 

    From the second paper,

3. What is the difference between input-based and processor-based emergentism?

4. With which form of emergentism do we associate a) Ellis b) MacWhinney c) O'Grady?

 

ANSWERS 3&4

3. What is the difference between input-based and processor-based emergentism?

Input-based emergentism focuses on the effect of frequency of certain items in the input and acquisition.  

Processor-based emergentism focuses on the cognitive processing of language, offering a solution to the poverty of the stimulus problem different from the UG approach.

4. With which form of emergentism do we associate a) Ellis b) MacWhinney c) O'Grady?

a) input-based emergentism
b) input-based emergentism
c) processor-based emergentism

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