Acquisition of English Complex Predicates in SLA

  • Received : 20060400
  • Accepted : 20060600
  • Published : 2006.06.30

Abstract

Snyder (2001) proposes that complex predicate constructions are interrelated by shared dependence on a single parameter, the Compounding Parameter, and that the global application of the parameter explains the simultaneous acquisition of the complex predicate constructions and N-N compounds in L1 acquisition of English. Slabakova (2002) examined the status of the Compounding Parameter in the acquisition of L2 Spanish by instructed learners. The result of the study, however, was not compatible with the prediction of the Compounding Parameter, possibly due to the availability of negative evidence in the input. Building upon Slabakova's study, this paper examines the status of the Compounding Parameter in naturalistic L2 learning. It is shown that the naturalistic L2 learners do not acquire the complex predicate constructions and N-N compounds concurrently contra to the prediction of the Compounding Parameter. It is suggested that the validity of the Compounding Parameter as a theoretical construct be reconsidered.