NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1020533
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0267-6583
Multiple Grammars: Old Wine in Old Bottles
Sorace, Antonella
Second Language Research, v30 n1 p71-74 Jan 2014
Amaral and Roeper (this issue; henceforth A&R) argue that all speakers -- regardless of whether monolingual or bilingual -- have multiple grammars in their mental language representations. They further claim that this simple assumption can explain many things: optionality in second language (L2) language behaviour, multilingualism, language change, and L2 language processing: in essence, all the developmental phenomena that are the focus of current research. In this article, Antonella Sorace asserts that A&R are right that a linguistic theory of multiple grammatical representations is necessary; however, their proposal falls short of explaining anything that we did not already know and in fact fails to account for what we do know. In this commentary, Sorace addresses three points. First, the idea that multiple grammars has been at the foundations of models of L2 acquisition ever since the concept of "interlanguage" was proposed. Second, she clarifies misunderstandings regarding recent work on L2 optionality. Third, she argues that A&R do not offer a new descriptive account of L2 optionality, let alone a new formal model of optionality, largely because they limit themselves to restating the problem instead of suggesting solutions.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A