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LINGUIST List 19.3785

Wed Dec 10 2008

Diss: Applied Ling/Lang Acq/Morphology: Jaensch: 'The Role of the ...'

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        1.    Carol Jaensch, The Role of the L1 and the L2 in the L3 Acquisition of German DP Features


Message 1: The Role of the L1 and the L2 in the L3 Acquisition of German DP Features
Date: 10-Dec-2008
From: Carol Jaensch <cjaensessex.ac.uk>
Subject: The Role of the L1 and the L2 in the L3 Acquisition of German DP Features
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Institution: University of Essex
Program: PhD Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Carol Jaensch

Dissertation Title: The Role of the L1 and the L2 in the L3 Acquisition of German DP Features

Dissertation URL: http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~cjaens/Jaensch_2008_thesis_rd.pdf

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
                            Language Acquisition
                            Morphology

Dissertation Director:
Roger D. Hawkins

Dissertation Abstract:

Much research exists which investigates the second language acquisition
(SLA) of the functional extension of the nominal domain. Attention
frequently focuses on learners' ability to acquire features of the second
language (L2) which are not present or are not realised (in the same
manner) in the first language (L1). Recent studies have examined the
suppliance of articles (Robertson, 2000, Snape, 2006); definiteness on
articles (Ionin, Ko and Wexler, 2004, Hawkins et al., 2006); grammatical
gender agreement (and number agreement (White et al., 2004)) (Hawkins et
al., 2006). Although explanatory accounts of the results obtained may
differ, there is general agreement that learners exhibit considerable
variability in their suppliance of these features.

This thesis extends the investigation of these features into the field of
third language acquisition (TLA). The L1 of the learners in the current
study is Japanese, the L2 is English and the third language (L3) is German.
Japanese nouns are non-inflecting and have no articles; English and German
nouns generally inflect for number and have articles. German articles and
attributive adjectives vary according to the gender, number and Case of the
noun. English adjectives are uninflected. Whilst Japanese may mark
predicates for tense and negation, (amongst other things) and nouns for
Case, there are no markings on attributive adjectives for gender, number or
Case.

The study reported here examines learners' acquisition of these properties
from two main perspectives: firstly, the influence of proficiency in the
L2, and secondly, the grammatical representation of these properties in the
learners' grammars. Results from forced choice elicitation tasks and a
sentence completion task show evidence of positive L2 influence - even for
those features which are not present in English. However, results from oral
production tasks do not show a similar effect. The implications of the
findings for current theories of second language acquisition are considered.



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