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Multilingual transfer: L1 morphosyntax in L3 English

Journal: International Journal of Language Studies (Vol.8, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 1-24

Keywords : L3 Initial Stages; L3 English; Null Subject Properties; L1 Transfer; Psychotypology; Language Proximity;

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This study investigates the acquisition of two properties of the null subject parameter in L3 English: subject-verb inversion in declarative sentences and null expletive subjects. The participants are L1 Arabic-advanced L2 French adults learning L3 English in a formal foreign language context. The study considers the nature of the grammar in the L3 initial stages and which of the L1 or the L2 constitutes the source of morphosyntactic transfer. The predictions of two L3 transfer scenarios are tested, the Typological Primacy Model and the L1 transfer scenario. The results of an acceptability judgement task and a preference task seem show that L1 Arabic is the source of morphosyntactic transfer in the L3 initial stages, overriding the effect of language proximity, typology and psychotypology that would have instigated L2 French transfer.

Last modified: 2014-06-21 12:15:22