Third Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar

Edited by Assist. Prof. Yan-kit Ingrid Leung

Publication date:

16 January 2009

Length of book:

240 pages


Multilingual Matters



ISBN-13: 9781847691316

Third Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar contains nine chapters on adult third language (L3) or multilingual acquisition from the Universal Grammar (UG) perspective. A variety of languages other than English are involved in the studies reported in the papers, including Cantonese Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Mandarin Chinese, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Thai, with acquisition cases taking place in a number of different geographical locations, such as Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Norway, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the USA. This volume will appeal to those studying L3 acquisition from a variety of theoretical perspectives and should encourage scholarly exchange between the fields of bi-/multilingualism and SLA.

Leung’s volume makes an important contribution to the dynamic, fast-growing field of third language acquisition, showcasing state of the art research and presenting a bird’s eye view of the challenging research agenda. The papers show how the acquisition of third language competence poses new theoretical and empirical puzzles that can be described and explained in interesting ways. The transfer phenomena given rise by the interaction of typologically diverse combinations of L1-L2-L3 are reminiscent of parallel cases in the mother field of second language acquisition, but with the variables and complexity greatly multiplied. The volume is sure to inspire further studies in the field.