Edited by Leah Roberts, Martin Howard, Muiris Ó Laoire and David Singleton
[EUROSLA Yearbook 10] 2010
► pp. 92–118
Discourse cohesion and Topic discontinuity in native and learner production
Changing topic entities on maintained predicates
In order to realize text cohesion, speakers have to select specific information units and mark their informational status within the discourse; this results in specific, language-particular perspective-taking, linked to typological differences (Slobin 1996). A previous study on native speakers’ production in French, Italian, German and Dutch (Dimroth et al., in press) has highlighted a “Romance way” and a “Germanic way” of marking text cohesion in narrative segments involving topic discontinuity. In this paper we analyze how text cohesion is realized in the same contexts by advanced learners of L2 French (Italian and German L1) and L2 Italian (French and German L1). Our aim is to verify the hypothesis of an L2 advanced stage where learners manage the target language utterance grammar whereas their discourse organization still reflects L1 preferences. The results confirm the persistent presence of L1 influence, but they also show learner-specific tendencies (favouring lexical means over morphosyntactic ones), which are independent of their source language.
Cited by 3 other publications
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