What is it about?

Studies in second language acquistion have revealed that changing the form of words (e.g. adding '-ed' to verbs to express past tense) is more difficult than using small words (e.g. using 'was') for foreign/second language learners in general; and such small words are often overused. This paper offers a linguistic-theory-based explanation for these phenomena.

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Why is it important?

Based on our proposal (DENS), a number of asymmetries can be predicted in pairs (or groups) of items that function similarly in target languages. Such proposals have been few in second language research, and hence this is an important work in the field of science of language acquisition.


I hope this paper shows how important theories are in order that we can explain and predict why second language learners behave differently from native speakers. A reasonably detailed description of a linguistic theory (Distributed Morphology) is given in an early part, which I hope should help readers understand a current linguistic theory as well.

Shigenori Wakabayashi
Chuo University

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This page is a summary of: A principle of economy in derivation in L2 grammar: Do everything in narrow syntax, Second language Research, November 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0267658319879969.
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