© 2015 – Routledge
The first book-length treatment of its type, Ultimate Attainment in Second Language Acquisition is a case study with a solid theoretical grounding that examines the language of an immigrant learner of English, and thereby presents a much needed understanding of the linguistic competence of second language speakers. Based on longitudinal data collected over a period of 16 years, this clear and accessible presentation is well-grounded in linguistic theory and in second language acquisition research issues.
Author Donna Lardiere presents the narrative of Patty, an adult Chinese immigrant learner of English, who achieves native-like proficiency in some areas of her English idiolect, although reaches a plateau in her language acquisition, known as the concept of fossilization. By addressing this concept, a central idea in second language acquisition research, Lardiere fills a void in existing literature. Individual chapters focus on Patty’s end state knowledge of grammatical areas of finiteness, past-tense marking, word order, wh-movement and relativization, passivization, number marking, and use of determiners. Important topics discussed throughout the book include:
*learner variability in production;
*case study methodology;
*the roles of motivation and prior language (L1) knowledge; and
*sensitivity to input in circumscribing ultimate attainment in adult second language acquisition.
Ultimate Attainment in Second Language Acquisition is intended for anyone whose research is in the areas of second language acquisition, language acquisition, theoretical, applied, or developmental linguistics. It is also appropriate for graduate level students of TESOL and teachers who work with more advanced learners of foreign languages.
"Donna Lardiere has given us a beautiful study. Readers will mine gems from it. Every analysis is competently executed and the text is well-written and accessible. It is circumspect in its avoidance of dogma and bluster…I feel confident it'll be widely read and cited."
University of Texas/Austin
"This fascinating case study of a fossilized speaker of English makes a major contribution to our understanding of the linguistic competence of second language speakers. The book explores a number of central issues relating to ultimate attainment; of particular interest is the dissociation between syntax (which is native-like in many respects) and morphology (which is not). This book will be of considerable interest to researchers and students in the fields of linguistics and language acquisition."
'Graduate students contemplating linguistic case studies will find in this volume an exemplary model of rigorous methodology conveyed in crisp arguments and a captivating style.' - TESL-EJ
Contents: Preface. Some Preliminary Issues in Adult L2 Ultimate Attainment. Introducing Patty. Knowledge of Finiteness. The Acquisition of Past Tense. Clausal Word Order and Movement. Nominal Phrases. Conclusions.