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Style, Mediation, and Change

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Intonation and Prosodic Structure

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Academic Paper


Title: Fossilization in Adult Second Language Acquisition
Author: Irit Kupferberg
Institution: Levinsky College, Tel Aviv, Israel
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: Researchers often use metaphors to define abstract or complex phenomena in terms of more familiar concepts (Honeck & Temple, 1992). Fossilization (Selinker, 1972) is a trope coined to conceptualize a widely known but poorly understood characteristic of the majority of adult second language (L2) learners: failure to achieve targetlike competence despite continuous exposure to the target language, adequate motivation to learn, and sufficient opportunity for practice. Challenged by researchers who question the utility of the concept (see the overview in Long, 2003), Han's comprehensive and coherent eight-chapter book provides theoretical and empirical justification for the use of fossilization as an organizing trope (Kupferberg & Green, 1998) that encapsulates the meaning of adult SLA processes.

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This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 27, Issue 4.

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