Article published in:Acquisition of Chinese: Bilingualism and Multilingualism
Edited by Boping Yuan and Yanyu Guo
[Journal of Second Language Studies 3:2] 2020
► pp. 233–260
Definiteness constraint on subjects in L2 and L3 grammars
Empirical evidence concerning the source of transfer in L3 acquisition
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 , and English, which examines how speakers of as a first, second and third language process 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.
Keywords: second/third language acquisition, definiteness, language transfer, , , English
Published online: 05 February 2021
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