1. Overview: Connectionism and Language Acquisition Research. 2. Connectionism and SLA Research. 3. Rules vs. Connections. 4. The Critical Period Hypothesis. 5. Connectionist Accounts and Applications. 6. Conclusions and Future Directions. Recommended Reading. References.
Yasuhiro Shirai is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Cognitive Science and Eirik Borve Professor of Modern Languages in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Case Western Reserve University, USA. He is an associate editor of First Language, and serves on several editorial boards, including Studies in Second Language Acquisition, IRAL, and Journal of Cognitive Science.
"Rarely have I seen a scholar so dedicated to a topic of great interest for so long, and rarely, as a result, have I read a book that is so comprehensive in covering the history and diversity of the topic. This book is a must read for students and researchers interested in connectionist perspectives toward language acquisition, second language learning, bilingualism, and language and cognitive studies in general. It takes a true scholar like Shirai to write a book like this, and I applaud his perseverance and dedication in making this remarkable contribution to the field." Ping Li, Pennsylvania State University, USA "Shirai offers a sympathetic, balanced, and approachable overview of the core issues in language and language learning and how they are addressed by connectionist or neural network models. He goes on to provide a thorough review of existing connectionist modeling work in Second Language Learning. This book will prove to be a great resource for anyone interested in knowing where we currently stand in the development of models of second language learning, providing an excellent springboard for future explorations." Jay McClelland, Stanford University, USA