Home > Events > Stefano Rastelli (University of Greenwich, UK)
S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 

Stefano Rastelli (University of Greenwich, UK)

Time: 
Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Location: 
Language House Multipurpose Room, St Mary's Hall

The Discontinuity Hypothesis: Gemination and Superposition Between Statistics and the Grammar in Second Language Acquisition

I will describe a L2 developmental hypothesis based on an interpretation of longitudinal ERP findings and a statistical re-analysis of longitudinal learner data. The Discontinuity Hypothesis (DH) holds that adults learn L2 morphosyntax twice, first statistically and then grammatically. It predicts that at a certain point, statistical representations geminate and thereafter have grammatical counterparts of the same scope. After gemination occurs, newly acquired grammatical representations do not replace statistical ones. The two superpose. Superposition -- continuous interference between statistical and grammatical pivots cohabitating the same sentence or phrase -- characterizes both a native speaker’s and a L2 learner’s steady-state competence. The DH differs from stage-based models of SLA, according to which successful L2 acquisition is a function of the extent of a learner’s exposure to target language input and/or the increasing capacity of the processor. In contrast, the DH extends to the domain of SLA theories of L1 competence which maintain that native speakers have parallel devices at their disposal for representing and processing the same linguistic items twice. L2 learners are assumed to become native-like not when they abandon formulas and internalize rules of grammar, but when they can shift effortlessly and instantaneously between overlapping statistical and grammatical representations and processing-routes, just as native speakers do.

BIO: Stefano Rastelli is Research Fellow at CAROLE (Centre for Applied Research and Outreach in Language Education) – University of Greenwich (London, UK) where he also coordinates the NOLTA (Neurocognition Of Language Teaching and Acquisition) lab. He has taught second language acquisition at the Universities of Milan, Pavia, Verona, Salerno, and Padua. From 2010 to 2013 he has served as Assistant Professor at the University of Pavia. His book Discontinuity in second language acquisition. The switch between statistical and grammatical learning (2014, Bristol: Multilingual Matters) presents a new model of the SLA process.

This lecture will be given in SLAA 649R, but is open to the wider language science community.