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ERIC Number: ED312879
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Lux et Verisimilitudo: Judgment Data in SLA Theory.
Birdsong, David
A discussion of the data obtained from grammaticality judgment tasks argues that despite the light shed by these data on problems of second language acquisition theory, there is not yet adequate knowledge of how to interpret those data within a coherent model of performance of the tasks. Therefore, it is concluded, there is no basis for deciding whether the resultant data are plausible and informative or illusory and irrelevant to acquisition theory. It is proposed that judgments of grammaticality be viewed not as behaviors proprietary to the field of linguistics, but as one type of decision-making or judgment-making behavior among many others behaviors. As such, they may be described in terms of procedural or epistemological principles given by more generalized models of cognition and psychophysics. Specifically, performance on grammaticality judgment tasks are examined first within the framework of the Theory of Signal Detectability and then within a more recent framework of concept construction and categorization. Some of the principles of those frameworks are then applied to problems in second language acquisition theory. Finally, some reflections on where second language acquisition research has come from and can go with grammaticality judgment data are offered. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Boston University Conference on Language Development (Boston, MA, October 13-15, 1989).