Visible and invisible aspects of language ability

In this chapter, Amritavalli discusses the factors to be considered in acquisition of language. Every language confirms to a certain universal grammar. During the process of second language acquisition, a shift from universal grammar to a particular grammar occurs. This option of the shift results in errors in L2 acquisition.

According to Amritavalli, a linguist sees the mistakes committed in language acquisition as ‘differences’. The persistence of differences in non-native contexts is called fossilization which can stem from the “unnaturalness” of a particular linguistic system which is in a state of transition. Second language acquisition in general employs restricted code semiotic systems which are considered ‘right ‘ and ‘differences’ are not easily tolerated. This impairs the learner’s ability to learn the language by pairing meaning which on the contrary happens in natural language acquisition where ‘differences’ are tolerated

Moreover, in multi lingual communities is confusing as the L1 of the speaker might have the influence of other languages. Hence there is no single speaker who completely represents a linguistic community. However, the article falls short in arriving at a conclusion regarding who is a native speaker and doesn’t convince the reader of the influence of multilingualism in second language acquisition.

Amritavalli,R.”Visible and Invisibe Aspects of Language Ability.” Indian English.Ed. Agnihotri Rama Kant and Rajendra Singh.N.p: Orient Blackswan, 2012.23-32.Print.


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