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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Academic Paper

Title: The Use of Articles in L2 English by Japanese and Spanish Learners
Paper URL:
Author: Neal Snape
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Gunma Prefectural Women's University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: English
Abstract: The present paper reports a study with Japanese and Spanish learners of English. The prediction is that errors will be found in article use reflecting feature specifications or parameter settings that are allowed by UG, but are inappropriate for English. Data were collected using a similar written gap-filling task as used in Ionin, Ko & Wexler (in press). The same singular noun contexts are used plus six other contexts; definite anaphoric plural and mass, indefinite specific plural and mass and indefinite non-specific plural and mass (see Lyons 1999). It is predicted that Japanese learners will overuse the in all indefinite specific contexts because their L1 lacks an article system. The results, so far, are consistent with the results of Ionin, Ko & Wexler. They found, as predicted, that their L1-Russian and L1-Korean learners overused the in indefinite specific singular contexts. The intermediate/advanced Japanese learners in our study also overuse the in this context and the plural contexts, but not the mass contexts. This overuse can be explained by assuming the Japanese learners go through a stage of 'fluctuation' (Ionin 2003). While all advanced learners in our study were more accurate in the definite anaphoric singular and plural contexts, article omission errors still persist for the advanced Japanese learners in the definite anaphoric mass context. /L/The results of our study seem to support Ionin's (2003) Fluctuation Hypothesis for all singular and plural nouns, but the Fluctuation Hypothesis does not predict why L2-learners suddenly stop fluctuating between definiteness and specificity when a mass noun is used in the context(s). We will argue that part of the difficulty with the count/mass distinction can be explained by Chierchia's (1998) proposal of a Nominal Mapping Parameter.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
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