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1002 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 60, NUMBER 4 (1984) imal exposure to English. Central to the study are the analyses of three syntactic features: is(a), apparently derived from the Standard] E[nglish] copula, da ([ds]?) from SE the, and anaphora. Ge's use of these forms does not follow a linear, step-by-step process, in which the learner's interlanguage more and more approximates SE, but rather is a trial-and-error process in which the learner frequently 'backtracks' , rejecting earlier hypotheses and trying to formulate new ones. Frequently a construct used later may be less like the target language than one used earlier. Thus Ge's use of da in obligatory SE contexts increases from Tape 1 to Tape 2, decreases through the next two, then rises through the seventh and following tapes. Moreover , by Tape 3, Ge is using the definite article with all NP's; when he finds this to be incorrect, he cuts back on its frequency (including obligatory SE contexts) and increases it again when he thinks he has found a correct generalization. Is(a) changes from use as topic marker or existential construct to use in 3sg. contexts, as in SE; but in the interim, it almost disappears entirely , as Ge appears to reject one hypothesis and seek another. Similar patterns appear in the acquisition of 3rd-person pronoun forms. The point of H's data is to show that the acquisition process may frequently involve the use of forms in contexts where the target language does not have them, and that such usage may in fact become less like the grammar of the target language before it finally begins to resemble it. But he then argues that we must consider the interlanguage as a system in and of itself, independent of the target language. His conclusions about the the backtracking patterns of Ge's interlanguage are sound, as is his claim that the interlanguage is systematic. But these conclusions do not require us to accept the independence of the interlanguage, even though H tries to reinforce his claims by describing Ge's early interlanguage as topic-dominant (rather than subject-dominant, like SE). Readers may wonder if the early interlanguage reflects a relexified Hmong substratum; but since H's raw data are mostly lacking (much of what we get is relegated to charts and summaries), they cannot make this judgment. This is unfortunate, since H's data are the most attractive part of his work. I hoped from the few examples I read, for instance, to learn what Ge was doing with but and haeva (their use is systematic, but unlike that of SE); but these were apparently peripheral to H's theoretical concerns, so they receive scant treatment. These objections do not diminish the value of H's contribution. His book is required reading for scholars ofsecond-language acquisition; and since it is written clearly and without much jargon , should make a useful classroom text as well. [Timothy C. Frazer, Western Illinois University.] La parole de l'enfant sourd: L'apport de la langue des signes dans l'accès à la communication verbale. By Danielle Bouvet. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1982. Pp. 313. F 140.00. Originally B's 1981 thesis from l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, this book is a brilliant argument for a bilingual approach for deaf children. B puts her finger solidly on the futility of expecting fluent communication to result from teaching grammar, sentence patterns , or vocabulary lists. For some time, educators have been urged to re-create first-language acquisition; however, approaches have varied widely. B intends to re-create the pleasure , self-awareness, mutuality, and ritualization of the mother/infant dyad that begins at birth. She describes these conditions both in hearing children of hearing parents and in deaf children of deaf parents, notes their absence in deaf children of hearing parents, and uses them to plan a class for the last-named group. Part 1, 'L'accès a la parole', describes the social and emotional aspects of normal language use and development. In contrast, many deaf children have learned to make sentences, but not to converse. Part 2, 'L'enfant...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 1002-1003
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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