The Bottleneck Hypothesis Updated
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The Bottleneck Hypothesis identifies parts of the grammar that are easier or more difficult to acquire in a second language. It argues that the functional morphology is the bottleneck in L2 acquisition because it bundles a variety of semantic, syntactic and phonological features that affect the meaning and acceptability of the whole sentence. In this chapter, the BH is updated after a decade since its proposal. Current views of Universal Grammar and parametric variation are outlined. Implications of those current views for adult L2A are spelled out. New evidence for the BH is reviewed from the L2A of semantics, morphophonology and syntax. Additional factors that complicate acquisition of the functional morphology are discussed and a pyramid of L2A difficulty is proposed.