Assuming that word-prosodic parameters are organized into a hierarchical tree where certain parameters are embedded under others, this paper proposes the Prosodic Acquisition Path Hypothesis (PAPH). The PAPH predicts different levels of difficulty and paths to be followed by L2 (and L1) learners based on the typological properties of their L1 and the L2 they are learning. On the PAPH, L2 acquisition is assumed to be brought along via a process of parameter resetting. During this process, certain parameters are expected to be easier to reset than others, based on such factors as economy, markedness, and robustness of the input, which is reflected in part by their location on the tree of parameters proposed in this paper. Evidence for the proposal comes from previous formal phonological and L1 acquisition literature. The predictions as concerns the learning path are tested through an experiment which examines productions of English-speaking learners of Turkish, thereby involving two languages that are maximally different from each other regarding the location of word-level prominence, as well as how it is assigned. The PAPH is a restrictive (and falsifiable) approach, where the predictions regarding the stages learners go through are constrained both by certain learning principles and by the options made available by UG.
prosody, stress, phonology, language acquisition, learnability, UG, variability in L2 acquisition
How to Cite
Özçelik, Ö., (2016) “The Prosodic Acquisition Path Hypothesis: Towards explaining variability in L2 acquisition of phonology”, Glossa a journal of general linguistics 1(1): 28. doi: https://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.47