Gabriele Pallotti (1)

Establishing the acquisition of a linguistic structure: theoretical foundations and methodological problems


Acquisition criteria are a fundamental issue for SLA research, as they allow to give operationalized and falsifiable answers to the question 'when has structure X been acquired?'. As such, they underlie all research on developmental sequences. Various acquisition criteria have been proposed in the literature, and the talk will begin by giving a brief overview of the field. This will be followed by the illustration of one specific acquisition criterion based on emergence, i.e. the first systematic appearance of a linguistic structure in interlanguage. Methodological problems involved in the criterion's definition will be discussed and various operationalizations of the criterion will be compared.