1 Inter-Language Set Theory Edited&Compiled by Dr Shamim Ali

Inter-language and Set Theory
Dear Students,
A set theoretical definition of the concept 'Interlanguage' has been given, and a theory of interlanguage competence has been outlined.

If one is to exploit the notion of Interlanguage in error diagnosis systems, a precise definition of this concept is useful. A comparison of a first language and a target language on the level makes it possible to compare structural comparison and similarity between First &Second languages, This article will give you a satisfactory account of Inter-language data.

The notion 'Interlanguage' alludes to a language "between" two (or more) languages, i.e. a target language (Lt) norm which a student is trying to achieve, and his first language (L1). The Interlanguage has characteristics of both of these languages. The nature of the blending, or how "between" is to be interpreted, however, has always been vague in second language acquisition (SLA) literature.This paper will try to make the concept so clear that it can be exploited in a computational system for diagnosing second language errors. The main features of Interlanguages which will be used in the diagnosing system, are overgeneralisation of Lt rule statements and transfer from L1. In the diagnostic system, overgeneralisation will be implemented as constraint relaxation along the lines of Douglas and Dale (1992), and transfer will be implemented by means of an alternative L1 based grammar. Transfer is understood in the sense it is used in SLA research (cf. Odlin (1989)), not in the sense of machine translation (although the planned system bears resemblances with transfer based MT(Machine Translation) systems. . 1. Interlanguage – a Set Theoretic Definition We want to define foreigners' Interlanguage or second language in terms of the target language they aspire to master and their first language. Let the first language grammar be G1, and L(G1) the language generated by G1. Let the Interlanguage grammar be Gint, and L(Gint) the language generated by the interlanguage grammar, i.e. the Interlanguage. Furthermore let the target language grammar be Gt, and L(Gt) the target language.

1 Comparison on the VX0-level It is possible that different grammars can generate languages which are equal on one level. if the two languages are different on the VX0-level. i. VX0.grammar rules of first language VT & VN=are disjoint sets VXO is a proper subset of VN Conjoint something is common Disjoint=VT&VN Subset=Something comes under itV(VXO)N But VN does not come under VXO.Phrase.2 Inter-Language Set Theory Edited&Compiled by Dr Shamim Ali We then define G1 as:Grammar of First Language S=Sentence P=Grammatical Rules G1 = <VT. On the other hand. but it is probable that the grammars are quite similar. Both approaches are useful. N.e. P. 1. and P the grammar rules of G1. i. the rules of the two grammars cannot be equal.Adjective. S is the axiom(a statement or idea that people accept as self-evidently true).because there are other categories as well Where VT is lexical entries of L1. the VX0-level(Noun. the set of grammatical categories. Xo-categories.e. VN = {NP. . The former makes it possible to express the degree of structural similarity between languages (with the possibility to explain both positive and negative transfer). but not on another. that their sets of VX0-strings are equal. VXO Level of First Language & VXO Level of second language are same It means the rules of two grammar can be equal IF VXO Level of First Language & VXO Level of Second Language are not same It means the rules of two grammars cannot be equal As a working hypotheses or plausible assumption we propose that an interlanguage in terms of VX0-categories. We assume that VT and VN are disjoint sets. {S}. A. PP. the possibility that the grammars which generate them are different exists.Adverb) and the VTlevel.. CONJ.Conjunction. and the latter enables one to explicate processes of language acquisition.}. is something like what we see in figure 1. P> First Language Grammar=<Lexical Entries of first language. ADV}.set of grammatical entries.(Lexical entries) and 'interlanguage' understood in terms of these two grammars. . VP..Verb. If the two languages are equal on the VX0-level. and VX0 = {N. The languages generated by two grammars can now be compared on two levels.e. V. i. VN. S. VX0 is a proper subset of VN.

and that the terminal vocabularies are disjoint. . Inter language has full representation of grammarof target language.it means that grammar of target language is subset of language generated by Interlangauge Language generated by Interlangauge (Grammar of First Langauge+Grammar of Target Language 2) L(Gint) contains strings which are not admitted by Gt. but by G1. and the degree of overlap is determined by the similarity between the two grammars.2 Comparison on the VT-level Let us first compare G1 and Gt. Thus the languages are completely different as in figure 2. and furthermore.1: Interlanguage First Language Grammar and Second Language grammar show similarity L(G1) and L(Gt) overlap. which means that L(Gt') is a subset of L(Gintt). which we will call Gt'.3 Inter-Language Set Theory Edited&Compiled by Dr Shamim Ali FIG . Gt' is not a complete rendering of Gt.and full range of grammar of target language are not used in language generated by interlanguge. We make two assumptions about interlanguages: 1)the Interlanguage user has a representation of Gt. Assume further that the axiom is the same. This implies that we assume that the full range of possibilities of Gt are not exploited in L(Gint). (Language generated by inter language is admitted by First Language not by Target language ) 3)So preliminary we say that an interlanguage L(Gint) is the union of L(G1) and L(Gt') Language created by interlanguage is the union of Language created by First Language and Laguage created by Target Language 1. Assume that both grammars have the same VN.

An important theoretical issue is the following: how can we account for the fact that some rules from G1 are not present in Gint? It is hardly surprising that some rules of Gt are not present in Gint. We assume that at the outset Gint is very similar to G1. This is. VN. impossible.4 Inter-Language Set Theory Edited&Compiled by Dr Shamim Ali FIG 2: Comparison of L(G1) and L(Gt) As soon as L(GI) « L(Gt) ð ∆ we have an Interlanguage VT. assume that Gint = G1.r. but increases during the acquisition. and the similarity between L(Gint) and L(Gt) increases. fig. but as it develops. VX0. however.t. on the other hand. the vocabulary of Gint is very small. where VT corresponds to the empty set. {S}. because the terminal vocabularies are disjoint. 1. we can explain this in terms of incomplete language . L(Gt) will be eclipsed to a varying degree by L(Gint).2) w. Gt. If we.2. P> FIG 3: Interlanguage The intersection of the two languages is the subset of the interlanguage which is correct (cf. rules from GT are added (acquired). At the outset. . this provides a model of interlanguage at the initial state. We then define Gint like this: Gint = <VTt . As the interlanguage develops.

With 'corresponding' we mean 'having the same meaning'. This rule licences a special type of strings . or both? The answers to these questions will tell us much about the mechanisms of SLA. Advanced Fluency Stage= Advanced Rules of Grammar of Target langauge We claimed that Gint(Grammar of Inter language) does not contain all the rules of G1(Grammar of First Language). or both? The answers to these questions will tell you much about the mechanisms of SLA. nor in G1. Now there will be no instances of this type of strings in L(Gt'). and this supports our assumption. do they exist side by side. 2. Questions How are some G1 (Grammar of First Language) rules excluded from Gint(Grammar of Inter-language)? Do rules from the Gt(Grammar of Target Language) and G1(Grammar of First Languge) exclude each other in Gint (Grammar of Inter-language)? Do they exist side by side.1 that an interlanguage is the union of L(G1) and L(Gt') . we are dealing with a subset which is diminishing along with the progress of the student. Therefore it is an oversimplification to say as we did in section 1.As for L(G1). . because some interlanguage errors that should be accounted for by G1 rules never appear in interlanguage data. How can we justify such a claim? Imagine that a rule of Gt is not in Gt'. But how are some G1 rules excluded from Gint? Do rules from the Gt and G1 exclude each other in Gint. It is natural that advanced rules of Gt are acquired at a later stage than the more basic ones like S > NP VP. By lexical transfer we mean that Lt lexical items are assumed to have the same syntactic information associated with them as the corresponding L1 lexical items. Advanced Fluency Stage students leaves the grammar of First Langauge A theory of Interlanguage competence should account for lexical transfer from L1.5 Inter-Language Set Theory Edited&Compiled by Dr Shamim Ali acquisition. Interlanguage competence We assume that L(Gt') is a subset of L(Gt) .

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