A Quantum-Cognition Approach to the Study of Second Language Acquisition

Volume 17
Issue 2
Stefano Rastelli
In this paper, I want to draw attention to the fact that – following other linguistic disciplines such as Semantics, Natural Language Processing, and Information Retrieval – Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research could also benefit from a quantum-cognition approach. In order to illustrate the potential of a future collaboration between SLA and quantum-cognition, I describe a case-study demonstrating a quantum effect in SLA, namely, the superposition of a grammatical and a statistical rule of noun-article agreement. I argue that a second language (L2) competence – like other phenomena in both nature and the human mind – is measurement-dependent, meaning that we can access it only contextually and probabilistically.

Keywords: second language acquisition, quantum cognition, superposition, comparative fallacy, interlanguage