A Critique to Fundamental Differences Hypothesis

  •  Jing Ding    


Chomsky’s Theory of Universal Grammar was proposed in response to “the logical problem of language acquisition”, that is, how children come to acquire L1with ease and complete success despite the insufficiency of the L1 stimulus. Chomsky attributes the phenomenon to the Language Acquisition Device or UG inherited by human brain. Since “the logical problem” exists in SLA. What is the role of LAD or UG in SLA? Or, is UG accessible to L2 learners? This is a question that has attracted SLA researchers since the establishment of UG theory. This paper gives some own analysis of one of the most influential theory of UG accessibility—Fundamental Difference Hypothesis, which belongs to the no-access views and points out its weakness by discussing its theoretical explanation as well as the supporting evidence. To be more specific, this paper will discuss mainly 2 points, one is the nine fundamental characters of foreign language learning and the other is its theoretical explanation related to the Critical Period Hypothesis.

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