Language Universals and Universal Language: The Case of the Accessibility Hierarchy in Relativization

Jae Jung Song 1
Author Information & Copyright
1University 0f Otago

Copyright ⓒ 2016, Sejong University Language Research Institue. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Online: Jan 01, 2017


This paper makes an attempt to raise the profile of linguistic typology (and linguistic-typology-based L2 acquisition research) in the context of the study of universal language (or interlinguistics). Linguistic typology, together with L2 acquisition research, can provide a useful framework in which to assess the structural neutrality of artificial or planned languages. Evidence from accessibility to relativization and L2 acquisition of relative clauses is brought to bear upon the structural neutrality of artificial languages such as Esperanto. Moreover, linguistic typology and L2 acquisition research can make useful suggestions as to what may be the preferred structural types for artificial languages. Such suggestions should be taken into account in the development of artificial languages, because these languages also are learned as L2s.

Keywords: language universals; universal language; typology; artificial language; second language acquisition



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