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This book provides a broad overview of parameter-setting theory in first and second language acquisition. It goes on to refine the theory by revisiting and challenging the traditional assumptions that underlie it, based on cross-linguistic language data that cover a range of syntactic and phonological phenomena. From an historical perspective on parameter-setting theory to an introduction to its role in computational linguistics, neurolinguistics, and language change, the reader will find a critique of the most commonly made arguments, as well as an index of all the syntactic, phonological, lexical, and morphological parameters presented in the literature to date. A closer look at the theory itself addresses the following questions: What does a parameter-setting approach to language acquisition entail? What are the underpinnings of the theory? What issues and problems remain to be solved?
Dalila Ayoun is Associate Professor of French Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, at the University of Arizona.