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What does current generative theory have to say about the explicit-implicit debate?

VanPatten, B. and Rothman, J. (2015) What does current generative theory have to say about the explicit-implicit debate? In: Rebuschat, P. (ed.) Implicit and Explicit Learning of Languages. Studies in bilingualism (48). John Benjamins Publishing Company, Amsterdam, pp. 91-116. ISBN 9789027241894

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1075/sibil.48


Taking a generative perspective, we divide aspects of language into three broad categories: those that cannot be learned (are inherent in Universal Grammar), those that are derived from Universal Grammar, and those that must be learned from the input. Using this framework of language to clarify the “what” of learning, we take the acquisition of null (and overt) subjects in languages like Spanish as an example of how to apply the framework. We demonstrate what properties of a null-subject grammar cannot be learned explicitly, which properties can, but also argue that it is an open empirical question as to whether these latter properties are learned using explicit processes, showing how linguistic and psychological approaches may intersect to better understand acquisition.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Cognition Research (CCR)
ID Code:43673
Publisher:John Benjamins Publishing Company

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