How do second language learners come to know the combinatorial properties of words and phrases -- the syntax - of the languages they are learning?
Do they develop knowledge systematically or randomly?
Can they acquire the same range of syntactic knowledge as native speakers of their target language?
What effects might different kinds of exposure to the second language have on their knowledge?
Adopting the objectives of Chomsky's Principles and Parameters approach to Universal Grammar, Second Language Syntax takes the reader through the main research findings in second language grammatical development.
For each area, empirical findings are linked to proposals made by linguists working within the Principles and Parameters framework, with the aim of developing a theory of second language syntax.Second Language Syntax presupposes that readers have some knowledge of the aims of linguistic enquiry, but does not assume that they are familiar with either research on second language syntax or the Principles and Parameters framework.
Each chapter includes a set of exercises to promote assimilation of the material, as well as suggestions for further reading.