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Title: Child L2, Adult L2, Child L1: Differences and Similarities
Subtitle: A study on the acquisition of direct object scrambling in Dutch
Written By: Sharon Unsworth
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series 119

This thesis compares and contrasts three different groups of language
learners - second language children, second language adults and first
language children - in their acquisition of the interpretive constraints on
direct object scrambling in Dutch. A series of production and comprehension
experiments is employed to document differences and similarities between
these three groups.

It is shown that in their production of scrambled objects in Dutch,
English-speaking children and adults pass through the same developmental
sequence. Furthermore, both second language children and adults come to
know the interpretive constraints on scrambled indefinite objects. Taken
together, these findings are argued to demonstrate that (child and adult)
second language acquisition is constrained in the same way as first
language acquisition. For both the first and second language children,
targetlike production of scrambled indefinite objects is observed to
precede targetlike comprehension. Following previous research in the
literature, this delay is linked to discourse/pragmatic factors and, in
particular, to limited discourse integration.

The comparative approach taken in this thesis singles it out amongst
studies on first and second language acquisition. Considerable attention is
devoted to the methodological and conceptual issues implicated in such a
three-way learner comparison. In this regard, an independent proficiency
measure is developed to facilitate the comparison between the two
non-native groups.

This thesis is of relevance to scholars in the fields of first and second
language acquisition and multilingualism, as well as theoretical linguists
working on the syntax-semantics interface and discourse/pragmatics.

Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Language Acquisition
Subject Language(s): Dutch
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Format: Electronic
ISBN: 907686487X
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 513
Prices: U.S. $ free
Europe EURO 35.22