Some Preliminary Issues in Adult L2 Ultimate Attainment
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book describes in some detail some aspects of a single learner's L2 steady-state grammar. The issue of (non-)convergence with the target could in principle be distinct from the question of whether or not the learner's developing or end-state IL is constrained by UG, as has often been noted in the literature. The divergence in ultimate attainment from native speaker grammars we observe among adult language learners is theoretically interesting because it is related to a well-known question concerning what type of linguistic information is extractable from the environment. M. H. Long points out several difficulties with the terminology and favors a research focus on stabilization in contrast to fossilization. One might well imagine that adult learners' grammatical representations of the target language fail to be constrained by UG, thus leading to fossilization.