Definiteness constraint on subjects in L2 and L3 Mandarin grammars
Empirical evidence concerning the source of transfer in L3
Recent research on third language acquisition has been focusing on identifying the source of transfer in third language
(L3) acquisition. In this article, we report on an empirical study of a less-studied language combination of Mandarin, Cantonese and
English, which examines how speakers of Mandarin as a first, second and third language process Mandarin indefinite and definite subjects.
Our data reveals that both typologically and structurally similar and less similar languages are available for transfer in third language
acquisition, thus such transfer can be facilitative as well as detrimental. We also find that the frequency and length of exposure to the
second language (L2) and the vulnerability of the property under investigation may cause first language attrition, which could influence
third language acquisition.
- 1.Definiteness of subjects in , and English
- 2.Models on transfer in L3 acquisition
- 3.Empirical study
- 5.1Definiteness constraint on subjects in the native grammar
- 5.2Processing of L3 at initial stages
- 5.3Processing of L3 at developmental stages