Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Continuing Commentary
Samuel David Epstein, Suzanne Flynn and Gita Martohardjono (1996). Second language acquisition: Theoretical and experimental issues in contemporary research. BBS 19:677–758.

Universal Grammar and the critical age

Julia Herschensohn a1
a1 Department of Linguistics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-4340


Differences of opinion between Epstein, Flynn & Martohardjono (1996) and some commentators can be traced to different interpretations of Universal Grammar (UG) form or strategy. Potential full access to the form of linguistic universals in second language acquisition may be distinguished from access to UG strategy, but Epstein et al.'s dismissal of the Critical Age Hypothesis clouds their central argument.