The Acquisition of Spanish in Understudied Language Pairings

ORCID logoTiffany Judy | Wake Forest University
ORCID logoSilvia Perpiñán | The University of Western Ontario
ISBN 9789027258021 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027269089 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
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By examining the acquisition of Spanish in combination with languages other than English (Arabic, Basque, Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Nahuatl, Quechua, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish), this volume advances novel data pertinent to the field’s understanding of acquisition of Spanish in the XXI century. Its crosslinguistic nature invites us to reconsider major theoretical questions such as the role of L1 transfer, linguistic typology, and onset of acquisition from a fresh perspective, and to question the validity of the traditional parameter (re)setting perspective taken in SLA. Additionally, this volume underscores the necessity of providing accurate descriptions of the language pairings investigated, emphasizing the interconnection between linguistic and SLA theory, and pushing us to a more atomic view of the system in which features and feature bundles mapped onto lexical items comprise the skeleton of language. This volume is of great relevance for researchers and students of SLA alike.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“This volume assembles an impressive array of topics in Spanish bilingualism (naturalistic, classroom, and mixed, early and late) that is to be commended on several fronts. First, the papers in the volume address a wide range of issues of paramount importance in L2 acquisition and bilingualism including the role of the L1 and the nature of transfer (including constraints on it and factors that combine with transfer to effect internal grammars), interfaces (e.g., syntax with discourse and pragmatics, lexicon with syntax), features and feature bundling, and quantity and quality of input. The second commendation of this volume is how it shows that focused and carefully collected research on one language—in this case, Spanish—can be used to review both the universal aspects of acquisition and those that seem to be the result of particular language pairings. Indeed, the volume goes beyond the prevalent Spanish-English and Spanish-Quechua pairings in extent research to focus on Spanish-Turkish, Spanish-Farsi, Spanish-Dutch, and Spanish-Mandarin, to name some. Finally, I am happy to see a volume in a major publishing house that places Spanish at the center of discussion on language acquisition. As the most widely distributed language in the world after English, Spanish rightfully deserves a premier place in the science of language acquisition. The various chapters include those presenting new empirical research as well as several in which the authors examine research to date on a particular aspect of Spanish bilingualism—allowing them to condense, distill, and comment on conclusions related to the themes addressed. The result is a compelling collection that will be of interest to all kinds of researchers and students interested in Spanish as an L2 or bilingual language regardless of setting.”
“This volume contributes to the fields of second language acquisition and bilingualism in at least two ways. First, it considers a great variety of language pairings, something that has not previously been done for learners of Spanish. The papers in this volume include pairings of Spanish with languages as diverse as Quechua, Catalan, Basque, Farsi, Chinese and Turkish, among many others. Previous research in second language acquisition and bilingualism has shown that cross-linguistic influence plays an important role across linguistic domains and learning contexts, but much work remains to be done before we have a complete picture of the role of cross-linguistic influence. The number and variety of language pairings discussed in this volume contribute to this goal. Second, this volume considers a great variety of learning contexts. It is not very often that a single collection includes papers on bilingual societies, children who are growing up bilingual, and instructed second language learners. By including all of these learning contexts (and more), the present volume allows readers to see how the type of learning environment, as well as the age of the learner, contribute to the acquisition of Spanish. Each individual paper in this volume contributes to our understanding of how Universal Grammar as well as cross-linguistic influence affect the course of language acquisition of a particular grammatical phenomenon. Taken together, the papers in this volume help us understand what is universal across acquisition contexts, and what is specific to particular language pairings and/or learning situations. In sum, this volume should be of great interest to scholars and students of second language acquisition, bilingualism/multilingualism, and Hispanic linguistics.”
“This innovative volume tackles an overwhelming bias in research on bilingualism with Spanish by gathering cutting-edge research on language pairings that have not yet been studied extensively. The exemplary research by leading scholars and rising stars selected for inclusion spans a host of continents and learning contexts, providing a broad perspective on Spanish bilingualism. This book will be a must-read for linguists working on both child and adult second language acquisition and will move the field of bilingualism forward by testing the generalizability of findings on Spanish bilingualism tounderstudied contact situations.”
“A most welcome volume for anyone interested in the acquisition of Spanish and its connection with generative linguistics. The editors have brought together a collection oftwelve chapters featuring the acquisition of different linguistic properties by speakers of Spanish from many different first language backgrounds (Basque, Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, English, Farsi, French, German, Moroccan Arabic, Nahuatl, Portuguese, Quechua, Swedish and Turkish). The volume is, therefore, groundbreaking in presenting a collection of understudied languages paired with Spanish, and it will be a reference for further studies in the field.”
“This exciting new volume, edited by talented young scholars, offers an array of studies on Spanish as one of the languages of bilinguals and multilinguals, from a formal linguistic perspective. The editors fittingly put the emphasis on the quality and quantity of input bilinguals are exposed to, dividing the chapters into three exposure conditions: Spanish in bilingual societies, naturalistic, and classroom exposure. This emphasis provides a fresh new perspective on the study of second language acquisition. The insights this volume provides will enrich our understanding of the dimensions of linguistic development.”
“This book offers readers new perspectives on Spanish SLA that complement previous studies over the past twenty years, diverging for the most part from the typical books on L2 Spanish acquisition of L1 English speakers. Its interdisciplinary nature allows students and researchers alike to consider future projects with faculty of all kinds of language departments as well as cultural programs including Latin American Studies. The myriad authors who contributed to this work are to be commended for taking what some may consider a bold approach to SLA in untapped ways. Any student or researcher interested in integrated research should strongly contemplate using this book for formal courses as well as independent study.”
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Judy, Tiffany

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CF/2ADS: Linguistics/Spanish

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U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2014038339 | Marc record