The state of the science in generative SLA and its place in modern second language studies.
This article has two main goals. The first is to summarize and comment on the current state-of-affairs of generative approaches to SLA (GenSLA), thirty-five years into its history. This discussion brings the readership of SSLA up-to-date on the questions driving GenSLA agendas and clears up misconceptions about what GenSLA does and does not endeavor to explain. We engage key questions/debates/shifts within GenSLA such as focusing on the deterministic role of input in language acquisition, as well as expanding the inquiry to new populations and empirical methodologies and technologies used. The second goal is to highlight the place of GenSLA in the broader field of SLA. We argue that various theories of SLA are needed, showing that many existing SLA paradigms are much less mutually exclusive than commonly believed (cf. Rothman & VanPatten, 2013; Slabakova et al., 2014, 2015; VanPatten & Rothman, 2014) — especially in light of their different foci and research questions.
Manuscript. Published version in press (Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 2017)