Acquisition by processing: A modular perspective on language development

JOHN TRUSCOTT, MIKE SHARWOOD SMITH
2004 Bilingualism: Language and Cognition  
The paper offers a model of language development, first and second, within a processing perspective. We first sketch a modular view of language, in which competence is embodied in the processing mechanisms. We then propose a novel approach to language acquisition (Acquisition by Processing Theory, or APT), in which development of the module occurs as a natural product of processing activity, without any acquisition mechanisms as such. The approach is illustrated and explicated through examples
more » ... d through examples of the development of content words, derivational morphology, the functional category I with its variable features, and Case and thematic roles, as well as apparent cross-linguistic variation in processing strategies and the status of bootstrapping in the model. We then examine some possible applications to issues in second language acquisitionnoticing the gap, the initial state, transfer, and the apparent limits of SLA -and finally offer a broader perspective on the model: its scope, its relations to other approaches, and its possible limits.
doi:10.1017/s1366728904001178 fatcat:kbazycybtvd3bjqsihfkzspnoa