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Title: The role of the Ll and L2 in the L3 acquisition of German DP features
Author: Jaensch, Carol
ISNI:       0000 0004 2669 8021
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2008
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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 (LI). Recent studies have examined the suppliance of articles (Robertson, 2000; Snape, 2006); definiteness on articles (Hawkins et aI., 2006; lonin et aI., 2004); grammatical gender agreement (and number agreement (White et aI., 2004)) (Hawkins et aI., 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 Ll 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 mam 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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Not available Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available