Universal Grammar and the acquisition of English L3 syntax

Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics

The relationship between linguistic theory and research on language acquisiton has changed throughout the years. The main of this paper is to frame research on the acquisition of the syntax of a third language (L3) within the Universal Grammar (UG) approach. The paper provides an overview of the role of UG in langauge acquisition and highlights the findings of recently published research carried out with Basque-Spanish bilinguals who learn English as their third language. The suggestion is that the study of the acquisition of L3 syntax form a UG perspective will be of great interest for the development of a theory of the language faculty.