The Known and the Unknown in L2 Metalinguistic Performance

Part of the Springer Series in Language and Communication book series (SSLAN, volume 25)


Lewis Thomas (1981, p. 49) has observed that “the greatest of all the accomplishments of twentieth-century science has been the discovery of human ignorance.” Thomas’s wisdom is not out of place in the final chapter of a book concerned with the contingencies, vagaries, individual differences, and uncertainties that characterize a diverse set of phenomena called metalinguistic performance, and that complicate the relationship of metalinguistic performance to theories of interlinguistic competence. It is important to understand that we do not have all the answers. Smugness is unwarranted.


Native Speaker Past Participle Error Judgment Grammaticality Judgment Phonetic Variant 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Romance Languages and Program in LinguisticsUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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