Second Language Acquisition Research: Theory-Construction and Testing
Editor: Fethi Mansouri
Date Of Publication: Jan 2007
There is a growing interest in second language acquisition (SLA) research in interdisciplinary approaches as that are by theoretical as much as practical need of understanding language learning and performance. Intellectually, second language acquisition research is now a recognised independent field of academic inquiry concerned with cognitive, psychological, social and pragmatic aspects of the phenomenon of second language development. SLA research tends to be both highly theoretical and experimental and as such lends itself well to the rigour of scientific research. It is in this context that the use of well articulated theories and concepts is increasingly seen as an essential research and ‘thinking’ tool for understanding and conducting SLA research. Processability Theory (Pienemann 1998) is one of the more prominent theories that have been applied across a number of second languages. The logic underlying processability theory is that at any stage during the developmental process, the learner can produce and comprehend only those target language linguistic forms which the current state of the language processor (i.e. the learner lantguage) can handle. It is therefore crucial to understand the architecture of the language processor and the way in which it handles second language development.
The chapters included in this book will report on the various technical and theoretical aspects of experimental SLA research across a number of typologically different languages. The book includes detailed chapters outlining the key theoretical claims and methodological requirements underpiniing this kind of SLA research. Many of the subsequent chapters report Procesability Theory-related studies to the wider field of SLA research. Though the emphasis is on cross-linguistic experimental research undertaken within the parameters of Processability Theory, the book nevertheless sheds the light on the nexus between bilingualism and theory-driven second language acquisition research.
Fethi Mansouri is Associate Professor in Middle Eastern Studies at Deakin University’s School of International and Political Studies. His research activities cut across applied linguistics and cultural studies. He has published extensively on various aspects of second language acquisition, Arabic linguistics and multicultural education. His recent publications include ‘Grammatical Markedness and Information Processing in the Acquisition of Arabic as a Second Language’. (Munchen, Germany: LINCOM EUROPA Academic Publishers: 244pp); Lives in Limbo (with MP Leach; Sydney: UNSW Press 2004); and Australia and the Middle East: a Front-line Relationship (London/New York: Tauris Academic Studies, 2006).
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From Border States in the Work of Tom Mac Intyre: A Paleo-Postmodern Perspective
''Catriona Ryan has more than achieved what she set out to do.She has emphatically presented Tom Mac Intyre as a writer with a distinctive voice who not only provides a crucial link in the chain that goes back through Kavanagh to Yeats, but as a bridging figure, a transgressive author whose reflections on the Irish literary scene, and on writing more generally, have much to tell us about the ways in which constrictive critical currents can cut off living literary streams. It is clear from Catriona Ryan's painstaking excavation that Mac Intyre has been wrongly neglected. Her thoughtful and perceptive critical intervention will remedy that wrong.''
- Willy Maley, Litteraria Pragensia, 22:44 (2013), 131-134, p. 134.
“This is a critically independent piece of work that very much constructs and defines its own project, and maps an intellectual terrain of its own. It is an impressively original and also critically self-assured piece. It is marked by a sense of intellectual brio and also by the excitement of discovery.”
– Dr Steven Vine, Swansea University
“Since Tom Mac Intyre is a writer and dramatist who has received very little critical attention, this work intervenes in an under-researched area and offers an innovative and valuable extension of the frontier of knowledge in the field of Irish literary and dramatic studies.”
– Dr Aidan Arrowsmith, Manchester Metropolitan University