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another term for FEEDBACK correspondence hypothesis

also derivational theory of complexity, DTC

a view which attracted considerable psycholinguistic interest in the 1960s, especially with reference to language acquisition studies. Correspondence hypothesis states that the number or sequence of rules used in the grammati-cal derivation of a sentence corresponds to the amount of psychologigrammati-cal pro-cessing that takes place in speech production and speech perception. Evi-dence in its favor came from several experiments which showed that the time it took for speakers to process sentences with more complex derivations was longer than their less complex counterparts (e.g., passives as opposed to actives, negatives as opposed to affirmatives). Further experimental evi-dence, in the late 1960s, was less convincing, however, and methodological problems were raised (e.g., how one separates out effects due to length and meaning, as well as transformational history); there have also been radical theoretical changes in the notions of transformation involved. As a result, the correspondence hypothesis is no longer influential as a research paradigm.

 Crystal 2008 covert prestige

the status of a speech style or feature as having positive value, but which is

‘hidden’ or not valued similarly among the larger community. For example, many lower-working-class speakers do not change their speech style from casual to careful as radically as lower-middle-class speakers. They value the features that mark them as members of their social group and consequently avoid changing them in the direction of features associated with another so-cial group. They may value group solidarity (i.e., sounding like those around them) more than upward mobility (i.e., sounding like those above them).

Among younger speakers in the middle class, there is often covert prestige attached to many features of pronunciation and grammar (I ain’t doin’ nut-tin’ rather than I’m not doing anything) that are more often associated with the speech of lower-status groups. This kind of prestige is covert, because it is usually manifested subconsciously between members of a group,

Covert prestige contrasts with overt prestige, which is generally recognized as ‘better’ or more positively valued in the larger community. It is associated with the undeniable social power of upper-class speakers, may be required for higher-status jobs and upward mobility, and are promulgated by the agents of standardization in society, such as the mass media and school teachers. Unlike the case of overt prestige, the forms to be valued are public-ly recommended by powerful social institutions.


 Crystal 2008; Labov 1972

creativity 93 CPH


Creative Construction Hypothesis also CCH

a hypothesis which was emerged from the open criticism toward BEHAVIOR-ISM and particularly the CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS HYPOTHESIS, along with the early research on SLA in the 1970s. Under creative construction, SLA is considered to be very much like L1 acquisition in that SLA is a process in which learners make unconscious hypotheses on the basis of the INPUT they get from the environment. Creative construction viewed acquisition as a learner-internal driven process, guided by innate mechanisms that are im-permeable to outside influences such as instruction and CORRECTIVE FEED-BACK. Very often, creative construction is viewed as the ‘L1 = L2 hypothe-sis’; namely, that L1 acquisition and SLA are basically the same in terms of how acquisition happens.

The major evidence for creative construction consisted of the MORPHEME STUDIES, in which learners of different L1 backgrounds seemed to acquire features of language in the same order (discounting the strong TRANSFER hy-pothesis). Additional important research centered on developmental se-quences (see FIRST LANGUAGE ACQUISITION), which revealed that learners with different L1 backgrounds tended to traverse the same stages of acquisi-tion of a given structure (e.g., negaacquisi-tion, quesacquisi-tion formaacquisi-tion) over time. Thus, major features of the Creative Construction Hypothesis were: (1) L1 transfer is negligible; and (2) there is universality in acquisition sequences.

As an account of acquisition, creative construction was subsumed under

MONITOR MODEL, and by the late 1980s had all but disappeared from the ac-tive discourse on SLA as other theories and accounts began to surface.

 VanPatten & Benati 2010 creativity

a term which refers to the capacity of language learners to produce and un-derstand an indefinitely large number of sentences, most of which they will not have heard or used before. CHILD LANGUAGE LEARNING shows creativity because it always results in utterances by children which they have not heard. They cannot be imitating these utterances, and so must be guessing, or creating, what would be said in their language. English-speaking children, for example, say things like goed, mans, and mommy sock, which they have not heard from others. That is, they create these words and phrases.

As a property of language, it refers to the ‘open-endedness’ or productivity of patterns, whereby a finite set of sounds, structures, etc., can be used to produce a potentially infinite number of sentences. In contrast with studies of animal communication, linguistic creativity is considered to be a

‘species-94 creole

specific’ property: the creation of new sentences is not a feature of animal communication systems.

The notion of creativity has a long history in the discussion of language, but it has become a central feature of contemporary studies since the emphasis placed upon it by Noam Chomsky (see CHOMSKYAN THEORY). One of the main aims of linguistic enquiry, it is felt, is to explain this creative ability, for which such constructs as generative rules have been suggested. Care must, however, be taken to avoid confusing this sense of ‘creative’ with that found in artistic or literary contexts, where notions such as imagination and originality are central.

 Crystal 2008; Hudson 2000 creole

a PIDGIN language that has become the native language of a group of speak-ers. A pidgin is not a natural language, but only a crude system of communi-cation stitched together by people who have no language in common. If a pidgin establishes itself in a multilingual society, then there may well come a time when a generation of children is produced who have only the pidgin to use among themselves. In this case, the children will almost inevitably take the pidgin and turn it into a real language, complete with a large vocabulary and a rich grammatical system. This new natural language is a creole, and the children who create it are the first native speakers of the creole. The pro-cess of turning a pidgin into a creole is creolization.

Countless creoles have come into existence during the last few centuries, often because of the activities of European colonists. Speakers of English, French Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch have established colonies in Africa, Asia and the Americas, in areas where the local languages were very differ-ent, and in many cases the Europeans imported African slaves speaking any of dozens of African languages. The Caribbean has been a particularly fertile area for creoles, as Europeans and Africans (and to a lesser extent native Americans) were forced to construct innumerable local pidgins, very many of which went on to be converted to creoles.

At one time, there was a widespread belief that all creoles were descended from a single ancestral creole by massive vocabulary replacement (relexifi-cation), but this idea is no longer taken seriously.

When a creole remains in contact with the prestige language from which it was largely constructed, it may undergo significant decreolization— adjustment toward that prestige standard—and the result may be a creole continuum, a range of varieties from a highly conservative version of the creole (the basilect) through increasingly decreolized versions (the meso-lects) to something more or less identical to the prestige standard (the acro-lect).

Linguists studying contemporary language change have found creolization to be a rich source of information, particularly from the point of view of the

Critical Period Hypothesis 95 construction of new grammatical systems. The remarkable similarities in grammar among creoles all over the world have led to the proposing of the


 Trask 2005 creole continuum


creolization see CREOLE

Critical Period Hypothesis also CPH

the claim that there is a biological timetable before which and after which language acquisition, both first and second, is more successfully accom-plished. It is a construct often discussed in the L1 and L2 literature as a po-tential explanation for why older learners have more apparent di culty learning a (second) language than younger learners. The term ‘critical peri-od’ is used in biology to refer to a phase in the development of an organism during which a particular capacity or behavior must be acquired if it is to be acquired at all. An example typically cited is that of imprinting in certain species. Thus, for instance, immediately after hatching, ducklings follow and become irreversibly attached to the first moving object they perceive—

usually their mother. This following behavior occurs only within a certain time period, after which the hatchlings develop a fear of strange objects and retreat instead of following. Within these time limits is what is seen as the critical period for the following behavior. Another example is provided by the acquisition of birdsong: for instance, if a young chaffinch does not hear an adult bird singing within a certain period, the bird in question will appar-ently never sing a full song. If language acquisition in human beings is con-strained by the limits of a critical period on this kind of definition, the impli-cation is that unless language acquisition gets under way before the period ends it simply will not happen. There may also be an implication that, even if language acquisition begins within the critical period, it does not continue beyond the end of that period and that additional languages acquired beyond the critical period will not ever be completely or ‘perfectly’ acquired.

Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH) was first related to language development by Penfield and Roberts and later by Lenneberg who argued that the human brain loses its capacity for language learning as maturation proceeds.

Penfield and Roberts argued that after the age of nine the human brain be-comes ‘progressively sti ’ while Lenneberg argued that the critical period for language learning was between the ages of 2 years and puberty, a period of time which corresponds to when brain function becomes associated with specific brain regions (see LATERALIZATION). Singleton has demonstrated