In the decade since the publication o f the then state-of-the-art col­ lection o f papers on com m unication strategies in Faerch and Kasper (1983a), there has been con tinued in terest in the ways in which second language (L2) learners m ake use o f their in terlan ­ guage resources in a ttem pting to create L2 reference. T he basic challenge has rem ained essentially the same as that raised by Varadi (1983) a decade earlier w hen faced with a range o f L2 referential expressions for the same observed object (i.e., balloon, ball, air ball, special toys for children): how do these observed ‘creations’ help us b etter understand what is involved in second language learn ing and use? W hile there has always existed a variety o f different, though relatively com patible, perspectives on how to go about answering this question, how to conduct investigations and how to characterize the various form s produced by L2 learners, there has em erged, in recen t years, a fairly serious challenge to the validity of m uch o f the previous work done in this area.