ERIC Number: EJ1137158
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 76
Emergent Knowledge of a Universal Phonological Principle in the L2 Acquisition of Vowel Harmony in Turkish: A "Four"-Fold Poverty of the Stimulus in L2 Acquisition
Özçelik, Öner; Sprouse, Rex A.
Second Language Research, v33 n2 p179-206 Apr 2017
A significant body of theoretically motivated research has addressed the role of Universal Grammar (UG) in the nonnative acquisition of morphosyntax and properties of the syntax-semantics interface, but very little research has addressed the role of phonological principles of UG in nonnative language acquisition. Turkish has a regular and pervasive system of vowel harmony for which classroom second language (L2) learners receive explicit instruction and abundant input; however, there are also cases of non-canonical vowel harmony in Turkish, for which classroom learners receive no instruction and rather little input. In this study, we show that English-Turkish L2ers come to exhibit sensitivity to the "No Crossing Constraint" of UG (Goldsmith, 1976; Hammond, 1988) when calculating non-canonical vowel harmony in the context of underlyingly pre-specified non-velarized laterals (i.e. "light" [l]), despite the poverty of the stimulus and potentially misleading effects of classroom instruction and standard Turkish orthography. We argue that this supports the view that nonnative phonological development is guided by (at least one principle of) UG.
Descriptors: Language Universals, Turkish, Phonology, Second Language Learning, Grammar, Vowels, Linguistic Input, Linguistic Theory, English, Second Language Instruction, Transfer of Training, College Students, Task Analysis, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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