Chapter published in:L3 Syntactic Transfer: Models, new developments and implications
Edited by Tanja Angelovska and Angela Hahn
[Bilingual Processing and Acquisition 5] 2017
► pp. 35–61
Chapter 2Toward a new understanding of syntactic CLI
Evidence from L2 and L3 acquisition
With the aim to attain a principled understanding of adult L2/L3 acquisition, we present data from a large corpus that focuses on L2/L3 identification of nominal gaps of empty categories. We show that both surface and abstract properties of the target language play significant roles in development. The analyses of amount correct and nature of errors indicate that the initial state in both L2/L3 studies emerge in terms of the learners’ identification of a nominal gap within the given expression but not necessarily in an L1 manner. Based on the finding that CLI is syntactically selective and principled, multilingual development is to be understood as a specific reconstruction and integration of surface and abstract features of the target language.
Keywords: initial state, crosslinguistic influence, multilingual development, surface and abstract features, empty categories, pronoun and null anaphora
- Fundamental questions
- What we already know
- Main models for L2 and their consequence for L3 acquisition
- Toward a new understanding of syntactic CLI
- Focus of this paper
- Two studies in EC identification in English
- First study: EC identification in restricted relative clauses
- Second study: EC identification in adverbial subordinate clauses
- The role of surface elements
- The role of abstract features
- Concluding remarks
Published online: 15 August 2017
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