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Characteristics of complex systems


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Although, chaos/complexity theory and SLA have commonplaces, they seem to be different in that chaos/complexity theory offers the wider perspective that has served SLA in the past. As opposed to SLA, chaos/complexity theory encourages linguists to think in relational terms. It refers to the fact that by accepting participation metaphor/language use/emergent grammar position, chaos/complexity theory does not reject psychological perspective. As it is stated , chaos complexity theory like socialists focus on the following issues: 1. all languages are static 2. there are mechanisms for language change 3.language and learning are seen as an open systems.
Nevertheless, C/CT never rejects the following characteristics which psychological perspective focuses on: 1. languages are sensitive to initial conditions 2. there are systemic patterns with dynamic paths.

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Characteristics of complex systems

  1. 1. Characteristics of complex systems germane to Chaos/Complexity theory and SLA Characteristics of complex systems Complex, nonlinear systems and FLA Complex, nonlinear systems and SLA Dynamic Languages can be described as a collection of static units which require active process while using. Any time a language is used, it changes. Languages grow either diachronically or synchronically Learners' interlanguage have an ever-changing character Complex Language is complex and composed of different and interdependent subsystems, each interacting with each other SLA is complex because a multitude of interacting are involved in SLA Non linear New forms enter and leave language in a non additive way. IL is full of peaks and valleys. In order to learn adjectives, learners do not need to learn noun first. Chaotic Like any other complex nonlinear systems, language has the potential to enter in to disorder; however this disorder is temporary. According to Larsen-Freeman, the IL system is convulsed in to chaos. (e.g. after a lot of exposure to regular, irregular verbs, learners will master it. However, in this stage they may overgeneralize ed to the end of regular tense, i.e. language enter in to a disorder which is not permanent) Unpredictable New forms enter and leave language in a non predictable way. We can only realize the change of language after its occurrence. Il is changing constantly. It is not clear which element will be acquired next. Sensitive to initial condition UG is the initial condition of human language which contains certain principles. Actually, it makes the shape of human languages. UG is present in IL; however there are different views on the way that such an initial condition exists, e.g. one view believe that UG is available for L2 in the same way that is available for L1. Open Language is an open system which receives new input from the technical world for instance and as a result does not tend to entropy. IL is open because the target is always moving. Self organizing Input from the outer world is an important factor in structuring and restructuring of the language. While learners receive new input, the organization of language changes. Language, constantly, recognizes and restructures itself to obtain equilibrium. It moves from chaos to order. Feed back sensitive Each language has a feedback mechanism in it. Positive feedback from the input causes the language to develop while negative feedback impedes the process of language acquisition. Learner's IL is highly affected by the feedback they receive from the environment. Adoptive Language, actively, tries to select from a mass of input, what is advantages to its development. While learning a language, learners are exposed to a large amount of input. IL responds actively to this input by selecting those elements which are needed for self organizing. Strange attractors UG is a grammatical path that allows the sentences as infinite variations to be produced in a finite grammar space. Learners' IL is affected by their L1 strange attractors rather than the TL's strange attractors (e.g. pronunciation of English as a TL is affected by Turkish as an L) fractal shape Language pattern is a fractal and nested pattern that allows languages to store a large number of information in to a small space. Again like L1 shape, IL's shape is a fractal and nested pattern.
  2. 2. Characteristics of complex systems germane to Chaos/Complexity theory and SLA