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Language InterruptedSigns of Non-Native Acquisition in Standard Language Grammars$
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John McWhorter

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195309805

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309805.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Navajo as Default

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 Introduction
Source:
Language Interrupted
Author(s):

John McWhorter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309805.003.0002

This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of complexity arguments regarding second-language acquisition. It argues that this neglect of the role of reduction in language contact beyond pidginization constitutes an empirical gap, neglecting a commonly encountered qualitative difference between related languages. This argument is founded on three basic assumptions: that in ordinary language change, grammars never become radically less complex overall; that radical simplification can be as central to the result of language contact as mixture; and that inflection is but one aspect of grammatical complexity.

Keywords:   language complexity, second language, non-native language acquisition, pidgin, language contact, mixture, inflection

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