Date of Award

May 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Nicholas Fleisher

Committee Members

Eckman Fred


In coping with variability in morphological production in L2 acquisition, which represents a

challenge for the parameter (re-)setting theories, Lardiere (2008) proposed the feature reassembly hypothesis in which sequential difficulty in L2 acquisition of morpho-syntactic features

is captured by the processes of (re-)assembly and mapping of features onto their morphological

realizations. Slabakova (2009, 2013) incorporated Lardiere’s proposal in establishing a scale of

difficulty in learning semantic properties (e.g. definiteness) which is based on whether

reassembly is needed and whether the universal meaning is obtained by overt morphology or

context (See also Ramchand & Svenonius, 2008). In considering the truth-conditional aspect of

meaning, the feature-based framework is not powerful enough to account for the variability of

interpretations that L2 learners come to learn. Take as an example the acquisition of English

comparatives by Japanese L2 learners. We discuss the L2 acquisition of a special type of syntaxsemantics mismatch in which in which a certain meaningprimitive (i.e., comparative and tense)

is expressed using different truth conditions in the native and target language.

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