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Optionality and overgeneralisation patterns in second language acquisition: Where has the expletive ensconced «it»self?


Nadia Varley

This book discusses the nature of optionality in second language grammars and the indeterminacy observed in second language users’ linguistic representations. For these purposes, experimental data from 213 learners of German and 150 learners of Russian have been collected and analysed with a special focus on the acquisition of various «subjectless» and impersonal constructions as well as argument licensing. Whereas voice alternations and argument licensing are topics amply discussed in theoretical domains, their practical implementation within second language research has remained a research lacuna. This piece of work intends to fill the gap.


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1. Editorial


The series Potsdam Linguistic Investigations – Potsdamer linguistische Untersu‑ chungen – Recherches linguistiques à Potsdam presents cutting-edge fundamental linguistics research carried out at the University of Potsdam. Its major goal is to publish collection of articles, conference proceedings and monographs on con- temporary issues in the fields of Slavic languages and literature, Romance studies, English and American studies, German studies and general linguistics. A special focus of study is the formal, functional and cognitive description of language. The following areas of linguistics will seek to develop their own profile: phonol- ogy, morphology, syntax (with special attention to generative syntax), semantics, pragmatics (discourse analysis, speech act theory), sociolinguistics and language contact. We do not set any theoretical, methodological or geographical boundaries. The series will serve greatly as a forum for young scholars as well as other researchers working in various linguistic fields and frameworks in Potsdam or elsewhere. The indication of Potsdam stands for the crucial importance and outstanding quality of linguistics research at the University of Potsdam. On the other hand, researchers from other universities with proven excellence of their work are most welcome to publish their doctoral dissertations, habilitation monographs or conference proceedings in this series. The languages of publica- tion are German, English and French.

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