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The linguistics of Second

Language Acquisition
Nopita Sari ()
Riza Thania Savitri
Sintiya Oktamela Harahap
The Nature of Language
Characteristic :
• Languages are systematic.
• Languages are symbolic.
• Languages are social.
Languages are Systematic
• Elements which occur in regular patterns of
• Unconscious rules or principles which
speakers are unaware of knowing or using
• Understand the principles by using the
language to express meaning.
Languages are Symbolic
• Sequences do not inherently possess meaning.
• The meanings of symbols come through the
agreement of speakers.
• It is meaningful for the speakers who use or
say that language.
Languages are Social
• Reflects the society that uses it.
• The only way to learn that language is to use it
with others.
• No standard to judge which language is more
effective for communication than another.
• Use language to communicate, to categorize
and catalogue the objects, events, and
Language Levels by Linguist
• Lexicon
• Phonology
• Morphology
• Syntax
• Nonverbal structures
• Discourse
Lexicon (Vocabulary)
• Word meaning
• Pronunciation (and spelling for written
• Part of speech
• Word combinations and idioms
Phonology (Sound System)
• Phonemes= speech sounds that make a
difference in meaning
• Syllable structure= sequences of consonants
and vowels
• Intonation patterns/tone
• Rhythmic patterns (pauses and stops)
Morphology (Word Structure)
• Morphemes= parts of words that have meaning
• Inflections= number or tense that carry
grammatical information
• Prefixes and suffixes
Syntax (Grammar)
• Word order
• Subject/verb agreement
• Ways to form questions, to negate assertions,
and to focus or structure information within
Nonverbal structures
(with conventional, language-specific
• facial expressions
• spatial orientation and position
• gestures and other body movement
• Ways to connect sentences
• How to structure stories and engage in
• Scripts for interacting and for events
Early approaches to SLA
• Contrastive Analysis
• Error Analysis
• Interlanguage
• Morpheme Order Studies
• Monitor Model
Contrastive Analysis
Contrastive Analysis
• Believe that learning a language is like
learning a habit.
• Stimulus-Response-Reinforcement (S-R-R);
imitate and repeat the language and the
response is reinforced.
• “Practice makes perfect”
Error Analysis
Error Analysis (EA) is the first approach to the study of
SLA which includes an internal focus on learners’
creative ability to construct language.

• Internal focus on learners’ ability to construct or

create language.

• Based on actual learner errors in L2, not on

The procedure for analyzing learner errors
includes the following steps (Ellis 2008 ):

• Collection of a sample of learner language.

• Identification of errors.
• Description of errors.
• Explanation of errors.
• Evaluation of errors.
• Ambiguity in classification.
• Lack of positive data.
• Potential for avoidance.
• Influence of L2 curricula.
Universal Grammar
• Principles and Parameters
• UG and SLA
• Linguistic interfaces
Functional approaches
• Systemic Linguistics
• Functional Typology
• Function-to-form mapping